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Pioneer Press, St. Cloud Times endorse Horner, but Range paper says Dayton

On a day when another poll showed his support dropping, Tom Horner picked up another two newspaper endorsements Sunday, this time from the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the St. Cloud Times.

On a day when another poll showed his support dropping, Tom Horner picked up another two newspaper endorsements Sunday, this time from the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the St. Cloud Times. But if you like your opinions a little more man-bites-doggy, the Mesabi Daily News breaks Horner’s statewide string by picking Mark Dayton.

While the Star Tribune was sending mash notes to Horner all summer, the Pioneer Press has been a bit cagier and I wondered if there was a puncher’s chance they might pick Emmer. The editorial is kind to the nominees: “We have spent time with all three candidates, and find much to admire,” but spends as much space defending Target Corp.’s pro-Emmer donation as touting Horner’s views.

The St. Cloud paper basically says Dayton and Emmer won’t get rivals from other parties to work with them, while hoping Horner will. The editorial dings Dayton as insufficiently committed to reform and questions Emmer’s tax plans.

So what does the Virginia, Minnesota-based Mesabi paper see that every other state paper so far has not? They hate Horner’s clothing-tax plan, expect Dayton to champion the environmentally controversial PolyMet mine, and — counterintuitively to many non-DFLers — expect him to streamline state regulation.

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But there’s also good old Range politics. Of Dayton, the paper writes:

He is a longtime friend of rural parts of the state in general, the Iron Range in particular. Rural Minnesotans will not have their issues and concerns fall on an uninterested ear of the person in the governor’s chair if it is occupied by Mark Dayton.