Al Quie, former Republican governor, backs Seifert in GOP race
June 25, 2014 — 10:46am
A former Republican governor of Minnesota weighed in Friday on the GOP's four-way race to challenge Mark Dayton in November.
Al Quie was a former state senator and U.S. representative who was elected governor in 1978, when he defeated DFL incumbent Rudy Perpich. He said Seifert, a former House minority leader from Marshall, has the best shot at unseating Dayton.
"Just as I defeated a DFL incumbent to become governor, Marty Seifert has the ability to bring people together and win in November," Quie said, in a press release from the Seifert campaign.
On August 12, Seifert is running in the GOP primary for governor. His principle opponents are businessman Scott Honour, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson and former House Speaker Kurt Zellers.
Quie is the first former Republican former to weigh in on the race. Tim Pawlenty, who served from 2003 to 2011, is now leading a Washington-based advocacy group for banks, and has stepped back from electoral politics. Arne Carlson, who led the state from 1991 to 1999, is no longer active in GOP politics, and has endorsed Democrats and Independence Party candidates in recent years.
Quie is the last Republican governor to not hail from the Twin Cities, hailing from southeastern Minnesota's Rice County. Seifert is the only of his four opponents to hail from outside the Twin Cities, and has tried to use that distinction to build a deep base of support among rural Minnesota GOP activists.
"I have been impressed by Seifert's ability to connect with Minnesotans all over our state and his unique grasp of the issues that are important for our future," Quie said.
Amid reports that Donald Trump was in danger of not getting on Minnesota's presidential ballot, the Trump campaign says everything is in order and voters will have a chance to cast their ballot for him in November.
Interest groups spent less slightly money lobbying state government in 2015 than in the previous year, according to a report released Wednesday by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.
The relatively late entry into the contest is a signal that Seifert, a veteran political strategist and tactician, believes the candidates who have been running for months have yet to lock down Republicans' support.