It's official: Rybak in governor's race

The Minneapolis mayor made his long-expected filing. He brings both assets and issues to the statewide race.

Two days after cruising to reelection victory in Minneapolis, Mayor R.T. Rybak filed paperwork with the state to run for governor.

The mayor announced the move to close friends and supporters via e-mail Thursday afternoon.

"Lots of people are discouraged by our state government's failure to take action and find solutions to today's tough challenges. ... I know that there's a better way," he told supporters.

The filing was long expected. Rybak has made no secret of his ambitions and has attended candidate forums, traveled outstate for months and even picked up a labor endorsement for the statewide run from Teamsters Local 120.

But the timing is a bit surprising. On election night, he told reporters his gubernatorial decision was weeks or months away.

No Minneapolis mayor has ever won a governor's race, and Rybak, who campaigned heavily for President Obama last year, brings both assets and issues to the statewide race.

He has more name recognition across the state than some of the other candidates but, as the mayor of the state's largest city, he may be seen as too liberal and too urban for some outstate voters.

Rybak joins a horde of folks vying to replace Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who is not running for reelection.

DFL candidates include state Sen. Tom Bakk, former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton, former state Rep. Matt Entenza, Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner, former state Sen. Steve Kelley, Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, state Sen. John Marty, lobbyist Peter Roess, state Rep. Tom Rukavina, state Rep. Paul Thissen and frequent candidate Ole Savior.

Eight Republicans have also filed committees.

Also on Thursday, the state campaign finance board decided on a Republican Party complaint over what the party alleged was campaigning for governor by Rybak and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman before filing the requisite papers with the state.

The board's decision was made in closed session and will not be public until today.

Rachel E. Stassen-Berger • 651-292-0164

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