GOP's Jeff Johnson takes aim at State Senate Office Building

By KBJR News 1

August 7, 2014 Updated Aug 7, 2014 at 8:14 PM CDT

DULUTH, Minn. (NNCNOW.com) --- Minnesota gubernatorial candidates are taking aim at the 90 million dollar Senate Office building in St. Paul.

Jeff Johnson was critical of the new Senate Office Building in a news conference near the construction site Thursday.

Johnson called the building one of many examples of wasteful government spending.

Taxpayers will pay 77 million dollars of the total construction cost.

When it opens in January of 2016, the building will be home to 67 state senators and their staff.

The price tag for the building was the focus of a heated debate this legislative session and now that debate is pouring into the Minnesota governor's race.

Johnson criticized Governor Mark Dayton for supporting the Senate office building, and third party groups are also weighing in.

"To pay for their new luxury office building they set a recording setting tax increase, and our property taxes went up," a Freedom Club State PAC ad says. "Instead of wasting our tax dollars for a new luxury office building, why aren't Governor Dayton and the Democrats fixing our roads and potholes?"

The DFL party is calling the ad misleading, pointing out that several prominent Republican lawmakers joined Democrats in support of the State Senate Building.

Johnson said he would seek to cancel construction if elected governor.

But before Johnson can have that debate with Governor Dayton, he will first face a primary election this Tuesday against three other Republican candidates running for governor.

Nick Minock