Tom Horner, the endorsed Independence Party candidate for governor, no longer has an ownership interest in the Himle Horner public relations firm he co-founded in 1989 and no longer works for the firm.
Horner reportedly will continue some consulting work with the Minnesota Hospital Association, which is involved in a labor dispute with the nurses union.
Republicans had earlier demanded that Horner release the firm’s client list to determine if there might be a conflict of interest.
In a statement, Himle Horner CEO John Himle said:
“With Tom’s candidacy for Governor and the time demands imposed by his campaign, it made sense to finalize the purchase of his remaining shares at this time and sever the business ties between Tom and the company. Freeing Tom from his Himle Horner professional duties will give him the time he needs to focus on his campaign. We appreciate Tom’s commitment to honor the contractual confidentiality agreements we have with clients and his assistance to facilitate a smooth transition of his clients to other principals and senior staff within the firm.”
Rob Hahn, who is challenging Horner in the Aug. 10 Independence Party primary, said:
“Horner’s conflicts don’t disappear just because he sells his shares. It’s merely another superficial PR spinning ploy to try to fool the voters, and it won’t work. … Tom is simply bowing to public pressure.”