Ramstad is considering a run for governor

  • Article by: Associated Press
  • Updated: June 26, 2009 - 8:07 PM

The ex-GOP congressman says he has been in sessions to brainstorm about a race, but he isn't ready to decide.

Former Republican Rep. Jim Ramstad said Friday that he has attended brainstorming sessions about a possible run for Minnesota governor, although he's not ready to jump into the wide-open race.

Ramstad, a prolific fundraiser with a moderate reputation, won't give a timetable for making a decision and indicated an announcement either way wouldn't come soon.

"It's way too early. People need a rest. People need a breather," he said in comments to reporters after addressing a League of Minnesota Cities conference in St. Paul.

Ramstad retired from Congress in January after 18 years. He said he is weighing whether he wants "to give up a relatively normal life that I've reclaimed to get back into the fray."

Both the DFL and Republican parties expect fierce competition for their respective nominations. Incumbent GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced this month that he won't seek a third term.

Ramstad affirmed his status as a Republican, despite speculation that he is being courted to run as an independent.

He called himself a "progressive Republican" in the mold of Elmer Andersen, Al Quie and Arne Carlson, three prior GOP governors.

In his speech to the League of Minnesota Cities, he accused both parties of worrying more about their political bases than making sound policy.

"Too many times policy-makers are taking their eye off the ball in Washington and St. Paul, the ball being bipartisanship and working together for the common good," he said.

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