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Suburban Rep. Tom Emmer formally enters GOP governor’s race


Rep. Tom Emmer, who brings a hockey mentality to politics, today became another of the officially named candidates in the race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

Emmer, once a hockey player who now coaches the sport in Delano, hits hard in politics but says it’s never personal and wants people of all persuasions to shake hands at the end of the day.

“We all want the same thing,” says Emmer, when talking about such issues as health care and education, “but we have different ways to get there.”

The Emmer way is the conservative way, little different from fellow Republican Rep.Phil Kohls, who recently announced his candidacy.

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Rep. Marty Seifert, who stepped down as minority leader to explore the possibility of running for governor, will make it official this week, too, making him the biggest player in the field to date. His conservative message is virtually the same as that of Emmer and Kohls.

Only the party’s big names – former Rep. Jim Ramstad and former Sen. Norm Coleman – could move the party toward what most consider more middle political ground. But they might have a difficult time winning endorsement from a conservative base.