To beat Dayton, Republicans need to be united, Johnson says
September 5, 2014 — 9:15am
Jeff Johnson, in blue tie, won his party's primary Tuesday beating his GOP rivals Rep. Kurt Zellers, former lawmaker Marty Seifert and businessman Scott Honour.
Flanked by his former rivals, Republican candidate for governor Jeff Johnson said the morning after winning the GOP primary that he was ready to unite the party and raise the campaign funds he’ll need to mount a credible challenge to Gov. Mark Dayton.
In short remarks, his former rivals -- Rep. Kurt Zellers, former lawmaker Marty Seifert, and business executive Scott Honour -- all said they would support Johnson in the general election.
"We have to be united as a Republican party," Johnson, a Hennepin County commissioner said.
Johnson drew 30 percent of the vote in a primary that drew less than 10 percent of eligible voters to the polls. The GOP nominee told reporters Wednesday that the primary's low turn-out wouldn't dampen Republican's enthusiasm for the fall election.
"Republicans aren't accustomed to primaries," he said. "We haven't had one for twenty-something years...[but] all of us can attest to this, there was a lot of excitement."
Going forward, he said he would he would focus on contrasting his style of governing with that of DFL incumbent Dayton. He said that as governor, he would focus on making government work more efficiently with less money. He said that in the weeks ahead, he would seek to contrast his ideas and style of governing with those of DFL incumbent Dayton.
He said if he were elected governor, he would halt construction on a $90-million Senate office building, criticizing it as a symbol of excessive state spending. Johnson also said he opposed automatic increases to the state's minimum wage.
Gov. Mark Dayton, speaking to a mostly Republican audience at the annual Minnesota Business Partnership dinner, repeated his familiar attack on the House GOP, blaming them for a legislative impasse on transportation.
Charlotte police released dramatic video Saturday that shows officers with guns drawn surrounding a black man with his hands at his side before shots are fired and he buckles and falls. It's unclear if there was anything in the man's hands in the footage, which has done little to assuage his relatives.
The relatively late entry into the contest is a signal that Seifert, a veteran political strategist and tactician, believes the candidates who have been running for months have yet to lock down Republicans' support.
DFLers gather in Duluth to launch the re-election bids of Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken. Republicans meeting in Rochester will try to choose candidates who can capitalize on Democratic weaknesses.