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Dayton's 4 GOP challengers vow bold leadership

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The four Republicans who aim to challenge DFL Gov. Mark Dayton in 2014 met for a forum in suburban Mounds View Thursday, promising distinct change.

"I’m in this to actually change the direction of government," Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson said, the Star Tribune reported.

Johnson joined Republican state Sen. Dave Thompson, Rep. Kurt Zellers and businessman Scott Honour before an audience of more than 100 Republicans at the Mermaid event center, the newspaper reported. The two-hour event was the first joint forum of the four candidates who aim to unseat first-term Gov. Dayton in the 2014 election. Each used the event to test out campaign slogans, Politics in Minnesota reported.

Few disagreements among them emerged, and the four avoided taking direct shots at each other, MPR reported.

Zellers talked about his commitment to opposing tax hikes during his leadership as House speaker this year, the Pioneer Press reports. Honour pointed to his background, rising from a modest family to successful businessman, the newspaper reported.

Thompson, a lawyer from Lakeville, touted his credentials as a conservative radio talk show host, the Pioneer Press reported. "Many of you out there would agree because you've told me the same thing, communication is a major problem in this party," Thompson told the event crowd, the newspaper reported.

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