Independence Party candidate Tom Horner wasted little time Wednesday morning saying he was best poised to offer Minnesotans a governor who did not represent the liberal policies of DFLer Mark Dayton or the conservative rhetoric of Republican Tom Emmer.
Casting himself as a candidate who would offer “centrist, common-sense solutions” on the morning after the state's political primaries, Horner said he would soon have a “significant TV presence” across Minnesota and by the end of August would be a third of the way toward raising the $2.5 million he felt he needed to win in November. He also promised to release details in the near future on his plans to lower, but broaden state sales taxes to help solve Minnesota’s budget problems.
“This cannot be a debate over the status quo,” he said. “It can’t be a discussion over, if we just cut the status quo, Minnesota will be OK, or if we just increase the status quo through tax cuts and making government fair, Minnesota will be OK.
“The status quo isn’t working,” he added. Horner said voters needed a governor “who’s going to engage the 60 to 70 percent of Minnesotans who have been pushed to the sidelines.”
He said Tuesday’s DFL and Republican primaries, in which voters elected Dayton and Emmer, only showed that the two candidates “resonated with the partisans who participate in the primary” and not necessarily the general public. Horner meanwhile coasted to an easy win in the Independence Party primary on Tuesday.
Minnesota senators sharply questioned federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch during Wednesday's Supreme Court confirmation hearings, grilling him on whether he'd be protect the interests of ordinary people over corporations.
Other business groups like realtors, electric utility Xcel Energy Services, private colleges, tobacco giant Altria, Polymet Mining, health insurers and hospitals contributed to the overall total of $57.7 million to lobby the Legislature, the administration of Gov. Mark Dayton and Metro municipal governments.