St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The race for the Governor's seat in Minnesota is shaping up to be intense.
Political experts say Governor Mark Dayton is in a strong position in this race. But opponents will no doubt go after the Governor over the state's healthcare exchange and his stance on medical marijuana.
Just this week all the Gubernatorial candidates released their 1st quarter campaign fundraising efforts.
The incumbent pulled in about $189,000 between January and March. That brings him to $1.3 million in campaign donations so far. The Governor currently has $733,000 on hand.
Of his five Republican challengers, businessman Scott Honour collected the highest amount of campaign donations since January, at $236,000, much of which he's already spent.
However, Jeff Johnson currently has the biggest war chest with $141,710 on hand.
The other big contenders, vying for the Republican nomination all pulled in less than $100,000 in the three month time span.
1st Quarter campaign fundraising totals:
Scott Honour: $236,000
Jeff Johnson: $32,027
Marty Seifert: $64,127
David Thompson: $66,889
Kurt Zellers: $91,407
UMD Assistant Political Science Professor, Cynthia Rugeley, says this race is about unseating Governor Dayton, no matter which Republican candidate he'll face in November.
"I would watch because everything he does will be under a microscope. The race will be about Governor Dayton. The Republican, unless they nominate somebody that even the mainstream Republicans can't vote for, the race will be about Governor Dayton," Rugeley said.
Governor Dayton started his re-election bid back in February with the release of his first online campaign ad.
He's expected to deliver his State of the State address on April 23rd at the Capitol.