Republican Jeff Johnson is getting some high-profile help in his gubernatorial run.
Johnson, a Hennepin County commissioner who will face off against three other well known Republicans in an August primary, announced on Tuesday that former House Speaker Steve Sviggum and current state Sen. Michelle Benson would co-chair his campaign.
Their addition to his team may help the endorsed candidate in key geographic areas during the fight ahead.
Benson, who was Sen. Dave Thompson's running mate in his now-ended campaign, is from Minnesota's deep-red Sixth Congressional District. Sviggum, who led the Minnesota House from 1999 to 2005, is from rural Kenyon, about an hour south of the Twin Cities.
Johnson rounds out his team with Scot Crockett, campaign manager; Gregg Peppin is his senior campaign adviser, and Randy Skoglund is handling digital media.
"Our team can be described simply: professional and competent," Johnson said in a statement.
Johnson will compete in a primary against former House Speaker Kurt Zellers, former House Minority Leader Marty Seifert and businessman Scott Honour for the chance to take on DFL Gov. Mark Dayton in the fall.
RACHEL E. STASSEN-BERGER