Skip to main content

State GOP readies candidates, arguments to defeat Gov. Dayton in 2014

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Five Republican candidates for governor of Minnesota made their cases to an audience of 100 people at Concordia Academy in Roseville Saturday. According to the Pioneer Press, the messages were similar, and the focus was on who is most electable.

It's a question that wasn't asked four years ago, but should have been, said former House Minority Leader Marty Seifert. In 2010, Tom Emmer defeated Seifert for the endorsement. Emmer was then defeated by Democrat Mark Dayton despite a Republican sweep of the Minnesota House and Senate.

The five candidates who participated in the 90-minute debate are all conservative, fiscally and socially. Besides Seifert, they are Hibbing special education teacher Rob Farnsworth, Orono businessman Scott Honour, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson and state Sen. Dave Thompson.

Thompson, who used to host a radio show, said he has the communication skills and charisma to connect with voters.

Johnson said he's had experience working with independents and conservative Democrats, and has proven he can get their votes.

Seifert said he has appeal to the average working voter. A farm kid from Marshall, he has also been a teacher, college counselor, real estate agent and hospital foundation director.

Honour said he knows how to bypass bureaucracy to create jobs. He vowed to apply his business skills to expand business and job opportunities statewide.

Farnsworth, the son of an iron miner and a teachers' union member, said his unusual background will help him stand out among Republicans and appeal to independent-minded Minnesotans.

Two other Republican gubernatorial hopefuls, state Rep. Kurt Zellers and perennial candidate Ole Savior, did not participate in the 90-minute debate.

The Star Tribune reports Republicans will use voter disappointment with MNsure as a centerpiece of the campaign to defeat Dayton.

“The fact is, the governor didn’t manage this at all,” said Minnesota GOP Chairman Keith Downey. “In some ways, it is the classic big-government failure and the governor should be accountable for that.”

“There is not a single Republican fingerprint on MNsure,” said Rep. Peggy Scott, R-Andover.

Republican precinct caucuses are Feb. 4. A straw poll there will be a first indication of the candidates' appeal, at least to the Republican base.

Next Up

Police tape

Person shot by police in St. Paul Monday evening

It happened around 6:10 p.m. on the city's East Side.

Kollie Jr.

Woman killed in Moorhead identified as suspect's mother

An appeal has been issued to find the suspect's vehicle, which remains missing.


Ticket details released for 5-week run of 'Hamilton' in Minneapolis

The tour of the production has been delayed twice due to the pandemic.


Minnesota Board of Pharmacy files lawsuit against 3 THC edible retailers

The board has received 46 complaints in the past four months regarding the products.

Screen Shot 2022-12-05 at 2.53.55 PM

ATF now investigating fire at Lyndale Avenue apartment building

It was the second fire at a vacant building owned by the same landlord that was being used by squatters in the past few months.


Let the good times roll

Minnesota Roller Derby is back!


Beloved restaurant in southeastern MN to close after 40 years

A final night of celebrations is scheduled for Dec. 17.


MN town shelves ordinance allowing residents to sue abortion providers

Attorney General Keith Ellison advised the town to not go forward with the ordinance.

Spring Street Tavern

Man shot dead inside Minneapolis tavern is identified

The suspect is being held on probable cause murder.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Strokes to play U.S. Bank Stadium in 2023

The Strokes will provide support along with King Princess.

Mall of America exterior Tyler Vigen Wikimedia COmmons

Settlement reached between MOA, family of boy thrown from balcony

The boy suffered multiple injuries that required several surgeries.