Former Republican candidate for governor Scott Honour has returned to his private investment business — but that doesn’t mean he’s abandoned public policy.
On the contrary, he’s working on several initiatives that suggest he’s holding open the possibility of another run for public office.
First on Honour’s list is education. Specifically, he is encouraging education reform groups to consider a lawsuit against the state of Minnesota. It would be similar to a case in California, Vergara v. California, that argued successfully that laws on teacher tenure and seniority violated the equal education clause in the California constitution.
“The Minnesota constitution has very similar language and that kind of suit could actually be brought in this state effectively. And it should be,” Honour said in a recent interview. “It’s completely unacceptable that we have this achievement gap that we have — that we have the lowest minority graduation rates in the country.”
Education is a subject he and his former running mate Sen. Karin Housley discuss frequently. “We’re talking about how to drive legislation that was on the agenda that we were looking to pass had we become governor and lieutenant governor,” he said.
He and Housley are sussing out the possibility of bipartisan support for teacher accrediation changes and changes on solar and wind energy mandates.
Honour also has ongoing discussions with GOP party chair Keith Downey and new executive director of the GOP House caucus Ben Golnik, with whom he’s discussing a “right to try” law that gives terminally ill patients access to experimental drugs that are not FDA-approved.
“We need more edge-of-the seat topics,” Honour said. “Compassionate, common sense … we Republicans speak way too much about what’s wrong and why we don’t like it. We jump into the conversation in the middle of it assuming that everybody knows what the heck we’re talking about.”
Honour does not deny that there’s an overtly political goal in this agenda. With issues like education reform, “We’ll have laid the groundwork wherein, in the 2016 election, not only will we keep the majority and pick up some seats but we could win the senate and now, you do some more good things, you lay the ground work to win the governorship in 2018.”
He still views Gov. Mark Dayton as an adversary. “The fact that he’s letting our most vulnerable children stay trapped in failing schools, I think is completely inappropriate,” he said. “I’m going to continue to call him out on it.”
So, does that mean he intends to try and replace Dayton? “I’m not focused on 2018,” he said while acknowledging that the infrastructure of his 2014 campaign — donor lists, voter i.d.’s, etc. — remains intact.
And, as the 2015 legislative session gets underway, “You’ll probably hear some things from me,” he said.