One day after the only Republican candidate for Secretary of State dropped out of the race, former state senator John Howe announced on Tuesday that he would run for the seat and former state senator Ted Daley said he is "definitely" considering a bid.
On Monday, Dennis Nguyen, who had the GOP field to himself, quit the race, claiming his existing obligations had made it difficult for him to run a statewide race. Nguyen had seen his support from sitting lawmakers diminish after reports that he had visited strip clubs.
Howe, the former mayor of Red Wing, said he had thought about running when Nguyen was still in the race. Daley said he did not.
Both of the former senators were elected in 2010 and lost their seats to Democrats after the 2012 redistricting.
Howe, a former mayor of Red Wing, said that his hallmarks would be honest and common sense.
"I think most people know that I work well with everybody," Howe said. In the 2012 legislative session, he proposed what some saw as a compromise to the voter ID constitutional amendment. That alternative was not adopted by the Republican-led Legislature.
Daley, a CPA and military veteran, said he is "definitely, definitely considering" a run for the office. While he said his interest in running rose after Nguyen quit the race. He said he expects to make a decision this week.
Daley, of Eagan, was on the joint House-Senate committee that crafted the voter ID amendment. The voter ID amendment ultimately made it onto the ballot and was rejected by Minnesotans in the 2012 election.
Current Secretary Mark Ritchie, a Democrat, is not running for re-election. DFL state Reps. Steve Simon, of Hopkins, and Debra Hilstrom, of Brooklyn Center, are both running to replace him.