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State Sen. Dave Thompson launched his campaign for governor Wednesday, calling for lower taxes, smaller government and sweeping changes to Minnesota labor laws and school funding.
“I’m doing this because I believe in the state of Minnesota and I believe in Minnesotans,” said Thompson, who kicked off his campaign at the State Capitol, where he has served for the past three years. “I believe in the individual … As governor, my goal will be to get out of your way.”
Thompson, a former conservative talk radio host from Lakeville, is the fourth Republican to challenge Gov. Mark Dayton. He joins former House Speaker Kurt Zellers, businessman Scott Honour and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson in the GOP field. Like Thompson, all the current GOP hopefuls hail from Twin Cities suburbs. He said he would abide by the GOP endorsement process and bow out if he is not the party’s choice.
If elected, Thompson said, he would push to allow parents to use public money — possibly tuition tax credits — to send their children to private schools. He said he would continue his push to make Minnesota a so-called “Right to Work” state, where union membership and dues are optional.
Thompson’s years on the air will be a trove for opposition researchers to dig through in search of embarrassing sound bites, but Thompson said he isn’t worried.
“The nice thing about never lying is you don’t have to have a good memory,” he joked when asked whether he’d said anything on-air that might haunt him during the campaign.