The Minnesota Gun Owners PAC backed DFL Attorney General Lori Swanson and took an anyone but DFL Gov. Mark Dayton approach to the race for governor.

"Minnesota gun owners will have a clear choice in the voting booth between Governor Dayton...and candidates who strongly support protecting the civil rights of gun owners,” said the pro-gun PAC's executive director Bryan Strawser.

The group said any one of the four Republicans vying in a primary or the Independence Party's Hannah Nicollet would be better.

It may revisit the gubernatorial endorsement after the Aug. 12 primary, it said.

On the other hand, it opted to back Swanson, who will likely face Republican state Sen. Scott Newman in November.

"Lori has been a steadfast supporter of the constitutional rights of Minnesota’s gun owners as attorney general," Mark Okern, the PAC's chairman.

Strawser said for the endorsements they, "solicited questionnaire responses from all major and minor party candidates in the race.  These were reviewed in addition to public statements, previous records, and grading from credible gun rights organizations."

The group has also made bipartisan endorsements in the state House races and opted against either of the DFLers running for state auditor.

The Minnesota Gun Owners PAC formed late in 2013. It is unclear what impact its backing will have on candidates or the electorate. As of the end of the July, it had raised about $30,000 and had $9,000 in the bank.


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