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GOP’s Jim Ramstad decides not to enter governor’s race

Minnesota’s former 3rd District Congressman Jim Ramstad announced today that he will NOT jump into the governor’s race.

Presumably, his decision will come as a relief to both his fellow Republicans and DFLers. Ramstad, after all, was a moderate Republican who proved in his one-sided congressional district races that he had the ability to draw support from Republicans, DFLers and independents.

In a statement today, Ramstad did not say why he will not get into the race.

“I’m humbled by the tremendous outpouring of support from people across party lines but I have decided not to become a candidate,’’ Ramstad said. “Although I do plan to continue in public service, it won’t be as governor. I hope whoever is elected governor will bring people together and work in a bipartisan way to address the serious problems facing the state.”

The toughest task Ramstad would have faced in pursuing the governor’s office, may have come from within in his party. Had he chosen to run, he likely would have had a difficult time receiving the endorsement of Republican activists, who are far more conservative.

Ramstad becomes the second highly regarded Republican to step back from getting into the race this month.

Earlier, state Rep. Laura Brod, of New Prague, announced that she had at least temporarily ended her exploration of running.

The big question that remains for now is whether former Sen. Norm Coleman, who tends toward the shrinking moderate portion of the party, will get into the race. Most observers say that Coleman need not rush his decision. Like Ramstad, he might have trouble winning party endorsement. He also now has been beaten twice in statewide races.

In these early stages, at least, the move so far bodes well for Rep. Marty Seifert, the 36-year-old former minority leader of the House.

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