These are the major contenders vying for their parties' nominations for Minnesota governor in 2018.


Tina Liebling, 64

The seventh-term lawmaker from Rochester is the first DFLer elected to the Legislature from Olmsted County. Liebling has sought the backing of the progressive wing of the party, touting her support of the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders. | Campaign finance

Erin Murphy, 57

The sixth-term DFLer from St. Paul was a transplant nurse who led the Minnesota Nurses Association before being elected. She's made health care the cornerstone of her campaign, drawing on her nursing background and experience helping her mother navigate the health care system at the end of her life. | Campaign finance

Rebecca Otto, 54

The third-term elected state auditor from May Township is running hard on environmental issues. She won the endorsement of the DFL's environmental caucus on the strength of a detailed energy plan and has long been an opponent of northeast Minnesota's controversial copper-nickel mining proposals. | Campaign finance

Tim Walz, 53

The sixth-term congressman from Mankato represents one of the most agricultural and Republican-leaning districts currently held by a Democrat. Once a high school teacher, Walz's 24 years in the Army National Guard serve him in his position as ranking member of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee. | Campaign finance


Keith Downey, 57

The former two-term state lawmaker from Edina was elected chairman of the state Republican Party in 2013. Downey says his time as a consultant to state and local government gave him an inside look at what happens when government tries to do too much. | Campaign finance

Jeff Johnson, 51

Often the lone dissenting voice on the Hennepin County Board, Plymouth's Johnson says he's an advocate for taxpayers. Johnson was the Republican nominee for governor in 2014, losing by 5.5 percentage points. He recently won the endorsement of Rep. Matt Dean, who dropped out of the governor's race. | Campaign finance

Mary Giuliani Stephens, 62

The mayor of Woodbury, Minnesota's ninth-largest city, was first elected in 2010 and before that was a law partner in her professional life. A Republican, she touts the city's growth under her leadership, citing a 17 percent increase in employment, 268 new businesses and 2,800 new homes. | Campaign finance