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Republicans sniffing around bids against Dayton

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger under Minnesota governor, Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota legislature, Democrats, Republicans Updated: March 22, 2013 - 1:46 PM

No high-profile candidate has yet emerged to run against DFL Gov. Mark Dayton in 2014 but a host of Republicans are getting closer to candidacy. 

The pack of potentials include state lawmakers, federal office holders, business people and GOP insiders.

Here's a rundown of the status of some of the possible gubernatorial candidates:

State Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville -- Within the last week, Thompson has moved from a 'not saying no' position on a possible run to a considering a run. He said he will not make any final decision before the end of the legislative session.

Scott Honour -- A Republican businessman, who has not had a high public profile in Minnesota, his name is increasingly on the tongues of Republicans talking about possible candidates. On LinkedIn, "personal assistant" lists his gig as one in a "political organization" and Honour is among the well-known names listed as a co-host of the Republicans' big spring fundraising dinner.

State Rep. Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove - The former House Speaker does not deny that a gubernatorial run is a possibility. “I’m leaving all my options. I’m not making any decisions,” he said recently. He, like Thompson, said he is focused on the Legislature right now.

State Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Farimont -- Best-known as chief author of the Vikings stadium legislation in the Senate, Rosen has been talking for months about a possible gubernatorial run. She said last month that the argument that Republicans need to run “somebody who is conservative, who plays well in the general populace of Minnesota” resonates with her and would seem to fit her profile.

State Senate Minority Leader David Hann, R-Eden Prairie -- As Senate Minority Leader, Hann, who briefly ran for governor last time around, has increased his public profile this year. Fans have started a "Draft Hann" committee but the Senator says he is concentrating on Capitol doings, not 2014 politics right now.

Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson -- Johnson, a National Republican Committeeman, has long been on the list of possible candidates and is well-known to Republican activists. He said last month that he is still "very interested" in a possible run, had even talked to possible consultants and would likely make an announcement before the summer.

Adding to the list: U.S. Reps. John Kline and Erik Paulsen. Both have left open the possibility the may run for U.S. Senate against Democrat Al Franken (as has U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann) or against Dayton. And Democrats and Republicans both mention Marvin Windows president Susan Marvin as someone who could add to the possible mix, although she has not made any major statements about a run.

The list is long -- and will likely grow before it shrinks. Keep track of all the mini-moves in advance of 2014 by subscribing to the Hot Dish Politics newsletter (sign into http://www.startribune.com/membercenter, find the politics newsletter and sign up) or by following @rachelsb on Twitter. 

 

 

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