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GOP candidates for governor in final push for votes ahead of primary

Posted by: Patrick Condon under Minnesota campaigns, Minnesota governor, Republicans Updated: August 11, 2014 - 10:50 AM

The four Republicans who want to run for governor in November are making last-minute pleas to primary voters ahead of Tuesday's election.

Scott Honour, Jeff Johnson, Kurt Zellers and Marty Seifert campaigned all weekend and were back at it first thing Monday. Honour, an Orono businessman, did breakfast at the Oasis Cafe in Stillwater and talked about state tax policy and jobs with the owner.

The Oasis generated a lot of media attention last week for announcing a 35-cent "minimum wage fee" on its customer tabs. Honour's campaign said the cafe's owner, Craig Beemer, lives in Wisconsin so won't be able to vote in the primary, but that after the visit he said he supported Honour's bid.

Johnson, a Hennepin County commissioner from Plymouth, announced a last-minute endorsement from a prominent Republican activist. Jennifer Parrish is a Rochester daycare owner who became the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against Gov. Mark Dayton's efforts to allow unions to organize home child-care providers.

Minnesota Republicans have allied themselves with that lawsuit, and Johnson heavily touted Parrish's backing in a press release. Parrish said Johnson would be "the champion small businesswomen need as the governor of our state.

Johnson is the Republican Party's endorsed candidate in Tuesday's primary. The four-way contest has lacked a clear frontrunner, but many Republicans in recent days have said Johnson seems best positioned to pull out a win by leveraging official party backing in an otherwise close race.

But the expected small turnout makes the outcome unpredictable, and the other candidates also had busy days on tap in hopes of shaking up expectations.

Zellers, the former House speaker from Maple Grove, had radio interviews in the morning and was scheduled to call primary voters all afternoon. Seifert, a former House minority leader from Marshall, lined up more than a dozen radio interviews across the state.

All four candidates are holding election night parties at restaurants on Tuesday. Seifert will be in Mankato, Zellers in Maple Grove, Johnson in Plymouth and Honour in St. Paul.

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