As part of an aggressive reaction to an anti-tax ad from the business community, Gov. Mark Dayton pledged to supporters, "If I'm breathing, I'm running."
The 66-year-old Dayton has long said that he plans to run for re-election next year but, despite that, some political observers voiced doubts. The DFL governor, who has held re-election fundraisers in recent months, sought to quash those doubts in a fundraising email on Thursday night.
"Their untruthful attacks only strengthen my commitment to run for re-election next year. You have my promise: If I'm breathing, I'm running!" Dayton's email asking for donations for help his campaign.
"I need you to support my Rapid Response Fund so we can tell the truth. We need to raise as much as we can in the next 24 hours to respond to these first attacks," wrote Dayton, an heir to the Dayton's department store fortune who poured millions of his own money into his first campaign.
Business groups have banded together to ask Minnesotans to fight Democratic proposals to raise taxes this year.
"Minnesotans pay some of the highest taxes in America," one ad from the new group United for Jobs says. "Tell Gov. Dayton and our legislators: You don't need more of our money, you need to spend it better."
Although Dayton's email claims "powerful business interests are spending over a half-million dollars on false attack ads," the advertisements, although opinionated, do not ring of untruths nor have Democratic interests pinpointed any falsehoods in the ads.
Since the ads were released on Wednesday, Dayton's gubernatorial spokesman Bob Hume reacted defending his plan to make "corporate special interests" pay their "fair share"; Alliance for a Better Minnesota executive director Carrie Lucking (who is engaged to Hume) accused United for Jobs of being a "front for a smoke-filled room of multi-millionaires who will stop at nothing to keep gaming the system at our expense"; DFL Chair Ken Martin also upbraided what he called an "attack by outside groups critical of Gov. Dayton's proposals for a fair tax system", and Dayton sent out his own reaction in his email.
No high-profile Republican has yet declared a run against Dayton but many have said they are considering running.