GOP Gubernatorial candidates make campaign push as primary nears

By KBJR News 1

August 2, 2014 Updated Aug 2, 2014 at 12:34 AM CDT

DULUTH, Minn. (NNCNOW.com) --- The four Republican candidates vying for Minnesota Governor have less than two weeks to convince primary voters that their campaign is the one to unseat Governor Mark Dayton.

Despite their vast agreement on policy issues, the four Republican candidates running to unseat Governor Dayton say their biggest assets are their personal backgrounds.

"The other guys I am running against have spent half a century collectively in political office," Scott Honour said.

Honour spent his life in the private sector and is looking to bring his business background to St. Paul politics, which he says is badly needed.

"We have too many career politicians that are focused on how they advance their career instead of getting the best results," Honour said.

Honour claims he has the most specific plan to reign in government spending, and has criticized fellow Republican candidate, Jeff Johnson, on his approach to budgeting.

Hennepin County Commissioner, Jeff Johnson, is the endorsed Republican candidate running for governor.

Johnson says he is the most electable candidate, despite losing by a wide margin statewide in a 2006 race for Attorney General.

Johnson made direct jabs at Governor Mark Dayton over projects like Polymet Thursday.

"Environmentalist have a lot more influence within the party than private sector unions do, so we know who is going to win out on this issue," Johnson said. "Polymet will not happen if Mark Dayton is elected and it will if I am."

Former Minnesota House Speaker, Kurt Zellers, also talked up his support on copper nickel mining.

Zellers says his past experience of being unemployed will give him credibility when talking with voters about the economy.

Then there is former House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, who is talking up his rural roots and his family's blue collar background.

"I am the only lifer born, raised, educated, and lived my entire life in Minnesota," Seifert said. "Another unique thing is I am the only guy outside the Twin Cities metro area which I think many people in the Northland are interested in and making sure there is some representation for rural Minnesota."

The last time there was a hotly contested Republican primary was twenty years ago and political analysts say it is anyone's game.

Nick Minock