MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The man who ran the Republican party of Minnesota is now looking to run the entire state.

Keith Downey announced his candidacy Monday morning at the State Capitol. He served two terms in the Minnesota House before taking over as party chair, where he paid down a massive debt built up during the 2010 Governor’s race and helped elect Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

Downey also mobilized Donald Trump supporters in the last election and he’s expecting many Trump supporters will gravitate to his campaign.

“The press is obsessed with tearing down the person and the presidency of Donald Trump,” Downey said. “The people of America, and the people of Minnesota, are looking, and longing, for the agenda that Donald Trump ran on. And to the extent that that agenda advances out of Washington, D.C., it will be entirely consistent with what we are running on, and how we are going to present our campaign to the people of Minnesota.”

He also said his campaign will try to appeal to Minnesotans who think the state can do much better economically.

“My message to them is that I believe in you. And I trust Minnesotans, not bigger government, for our future,” he said. “We can come together, get results, not excuses, from state government, and we can make Minnesota work for everyone.”

Downey joins a crowded field looking to take over the Governor’s office next November. There are at least eight other Republicans and six Democrats in the running.

Governor Mark Dayton announced he will not seek re-election.

Pat Kessler