Tim Pawlenty confirms he'll run again for Minnesota governor

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It was the worst-kept secret in politics, but Tim Pawlenty has finally confirmed he will run for the GOP nomination in this year's Minnesota gubernatorial elections.

The former governor made his announcement in a video on his social media accounts at 3 p.m., which was aimed clearly at Minnesota's middle class.

Tweeting "Putting Minnesotans in the middle first is a better way forward," Pawlenty says in the video that "toxic politics is dividing us" but that he's got the strength to bring people together.

"My top priority will be to put those in the middle, who are working hard and getting squeezed, first."

He hailed the educational achievements of his former administration, and said education will be a priority going forward.

With healthcare, Pawlenty says Minnesota "wastes hundreds of millions each year on healthcare for people who aren't even eligible," which he wants to instead spend on cutting health insurance bills for the middle class.

He's also promising to hold drug companies accountable for their role in the opioid crisis – something current Governor Mark Dayton has tried to do with his "penny a pill" proposal.

Despite previously being critical of President Donald Trump, Pawlenty makes a play for his supporters by offering to "stop hiding behind political correctness" and make sure those getting government benefits are in Minnesota legally.

Pawlenty faces competition for the GOP nomination from, among others, former gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson, who said if Pawlenty was the Republican candidate, this election would be about "the past."

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