In what is being touted one of the most crowded races in Minnesota history the list of candidates for governor is full of good people, many of whom have already been out on the trail for some time. The straw polling has begun although most seasoned political junkies would say it’s premature to put much stock in the results. One DFLer who has attended some gubernatorial-candidate events around the state, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, announced on October 8 that he would not be running for governor and is focused on being a good mayor for the city of St. Paul.
On the DFL side, there’s State Sen. Tom Bakk, former Sen. Mark Dayton, former State Rep. (and DFL Minority Leader) Matt Entenza, Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner, former State Sen. Steve Kelley, State Rep. / Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson Kelliher, State Sen. John Marty, State Rep. Tom Rukavina, Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak (still unofficial the date this was written), and State Rep. Paul Thissen.
Kelliher is a favorite among house legislators, largely due to her effectiveness as speaker; Kelley has a proven record for making education a priority in the state of Minnesota and is currently a senior fellow at the Humphrey Institute and the director at the Center for Science, Technology and Public Policy where he teaches Public Budgeting; and Thissen has just been endorsed by the Minnesota Nurses Association, the fastest-growing union for registered nurses in Minnesota and the Midwest.
With Gov. Tim Pawlenty having already [unofficially] begun his 2012 presidential campaign, the list of Republicans currently running is growing every day and includes former State Auditor Pat Anderson, Leslie Davis, State Rep. Tom Emmer, former State Rep. Bill Haas, State Sen. David Hann, Phil Herwig, State Sen. Michael Jungbauer, State Rep. Paul Kohls, and State Rep. Marty Seifert. The word on the street is that former State Sen. / Rep. Jim Ramstad could be announcing his candidacy soon as well.
Seifert, Jungbauer (who is currently pursuing a degree in Environmental Policy at Metropolitan State University) and Ramstad probably possess the most name recognition amongst the republicans. Herwig, an ardent pro-lifer who says “I don’t play defense. I play offense!” was the first GOP candidate to file, and Davis is the author of a book called “Always Cheat” which he claims was “the book that knocked Jesse Ventura out of office.”
For more information, click on a candidate’s name and you will, in most cases, be directed to the candidate’s official website, and check back here often for candidate profiles and updates on the Minnesota Governor’s Race.