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Rep. Kurt Zellers goes ‘all in’ on governor’s race

MinnPost file photo by Brian Halliday
“It’s a way to show people that I’m all in for governor’s race,” state Rep. Kurt Zellers said. “I’m not going to hold on to two offices. It’s either up or out.”

Another Republican legislator will not run again for another term in office, but this one intends to stay at the Capitol in a different job.

State Rep. Kurt Zellers of Maple Grove, a candidate for governor, said Monday he will not run for re-election.

“It’s a way to show people that I’m all in for governor’s race,” he said. “I’m not going to hold on to two offices.  It’s either up or out.”

Zellers, one of six Republicans running for governor, has said he intends to run in a primary if he does not receive the party’s endorsement.

The high point of Zellers’ six terms in the Lgislature came when he served as speaker of the House after he led Republicans to majority status in the 2010 elections. Things were reversed, though, in 2012 when Republicans lost their majority, resulting in DFL control of the governor’s office and the Minnesota House and Senate.

Zellers presided over the Minnesota House during the 15-day state government shutdown in 2011. Ultimately, Republicans prevailed in their demands for no tax increases in the budget.

He said that tax issues are still on his agenda for the new legislative session, pledging to help repeal the business-to-business taxes that were passed last year.

 Two Republican candidates already have said they will run for Zellers’ 34B House seat — Dennis Smith, the treasurer of his gubernatorial campaign, and Dean Henke, a member of the Osseo school board.

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Comments (9)

  1. Submitted by Michael Morris on 02/25/2014 - 10:03 am.

    Rep Zellers all in or all out.

    I’m glad to see party leaders like Rep Zellers ignore the endorsement process. A GOP party endorsement is a joke and it is a detriment in the long run. I’m guessing that whoever wins the party’s endorsement will run a distant third in the primary after running away from the GOP’s platform.
    The primary is where it’s at.

  2. Submitted by Tom Karas on 02/25/2014 - 11:37 am.

    Great news

    I just hope Zellers keeps repeating his claim about climate change being a fraud like he did to the T-publicans in St Cloud last fall. All the independents need to understand where he stands on science. Guys like this present a great ‘teachable moment’ to MN.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 02/25/2014 - 04:02 pm.

      You’re joking, right?

      After a record cold winter, how many global warming worshippers do you think remain in Minnesota? When Dayton mentions “climate change,” people in the crowd roll their eyes.

      • Submitted by Mark Ohm on 02/25/2014 - 04:21 pm.

        Although MN is cold, the world is not

        The jet stream has imported a cold Canadian winter to the Midwest. However, NASA scientists say 2013 tied with 2009 and 2006 for the seventh warmest year since 1880, continuing a long-term trend of rising global temperatures.

      • Submitted by Phil Dech on 02/25/2014 - 05:46 pm.


        as unpleasant as this winter has been in some ways, it has not been setting many records.

      • Submitted by jason myron on 02/25/2014 - 06:25 pm.

        The only people rolling their eyes

        are too thick to discern the difference between weather and climate change.

      • Submitted by Tom Karas on 02/26/2014 - 07:38 am.

        Hook, line, and sinker Mr. Tester

        24 peer reviewed reports stand by your position in the last decade or so. Good on you. 13,950 peer reviewed reports disagree – roll your eyes at those numbers and kiss your election good bye.

        Its called Science. Not Fox. Independent voters pay attention, thanks again.

      • Submitted by Eric Ferguson on 02/26/2014 - 03:44 pm.

        There’s no point showing evidence to deniers

        No matter how much evidence there is, science deniers won’t believe in global warming, ever. They’re down to at most a third of the population. Let them go on history’s ash heap with the flat-earthers and ignore them. The rest of us need to get on with solving the problem, not spinning our wheels arguing with willfully ignorant people..

  3. Submitted by Tim Brausen on 02/25/2014 - 12:23 pm.

    High Point Indeed

    Rep. Zellers “leadership” was one of the reasons that his party lost their legislative majority so quickly (and this is his purported “high point.”) In power he demonstrated no desire to talk or work with anyone that wasn’t a power in his party, to his and the state’s detriment. I know a number of constituents and non-partisan groups that could not get granted an audience with this “leader”, as he was too busy promoting his agenda of no taxes/no growth.

    His type does not make a good governor, as Tim Pawlenty demonstrated, they’re merely an impediment to getting anything done by our government. Thankfully Governor Dayton doesn’t view people or the government as an enemy, and is willing to work with both.

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