In endorsing Republican gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert Wednesday, Minnesota Senate Minority Leader Dave Senjem said Seifert was the candidate with the "right style, the right temperament" to be governor.
"I've seen him work," said Senjem of Seifert, a former House Minority Leader who sat side by side with Senjem and other legislative leaders during state house end of session negotiations. "He's calm, his demeanor is cordial, he's a give and take kind of person and when we think about those kind of moments ...I think Marty has just got the right style, the right temperament to make things happen."
Senjem, R-Rochester, demurred when asked if Republican Rep. Tom Emmer, Seifert's main competition for gubernatorial endorsement, lacked that temperament.
"I don't necessarily think so. I've had an opportunity to work with Marty and I've seen him first hand. Tom certainly, Rep. Emmer, is probably equally versed but I've just not had a chance to see that," Senjem said.
Seifert said Monday and repeated Wednesday that he has a temperament much like Gov. Tim Pawlenty's. While Seifert refused to say outright that Emmer, who has, at times, appeared angry in making his impassioned speeches on the House floor, lacked the temperament to be governor. But he strongly suggested it.
"I would say I have one that is more like Tim Pawlenty's. We'll (let) people make up their own mind on that," Seifert said. "I would say that my temperament is better suited. I'm not saying that he has one that is not suited. I'm just saying that I think I have one that is better suited."
On the heels of the Senjem endorsement, Emmer's campaign put out a news release saying that Mike Wigley had endorsed him. Wigley is the founder of the fiscally conservative Taypayers League.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of elected officials and I know Tom Emmer is a man who will never waver in his support of Minnesota’s families and taxpayers,” Wigley said in the release. “Tom is exactly the person with the vision and leadership to bring Minnesota back to prosperity, by creating an environment that lets Minnesotans create jobs.”
Senjem's endorsement may be helpful, Seifert said, in picking up strength among Olmsted County delegates. With 57 delegates to the state convention, Olmsted has the second biggest delegation, said Seifert. (Wright County, Emmer's home county, has the largest with 59 delegates, Seifert said.)