Less than an hour after the polls closed tonight, the party favors started blowing in the Tom Horner campaign headquarters in Plymouth, and the candidate confidently acknowledged victory in the Independence Party primary.
He’d easily beaten feisty challenger Rob Hahn —who had little money in the race but captured more than his share of media attention with provocative proposals, quirky videos and talk about his restraining order.
Horner — a prominent and vocal Republican for years — joined the IP because he thought the state Republican Party had veered too far right, and he hoped to fill the middle ground.
His presence on the Nov. 2 ballot “will give Minnesotans a way to say they want a better future,” Horner told supporters in the strip mall headquarters on Hwy. 55 in Plymouth.
He said he and Lt. Gov. candidate Jim Mulder — the former Association of Minnesota Counties executive director — will promote a responsible approach to the state’s budget problem.
Tax reform — “not just cutting taxes or raising taxes” — is the answer to getting the state on solid financial footing, he said.
“We’ve got to grow jobs, invest in educationand revitalize communties around the state — create a Minnesota that has opportunities for everyone.”
He called for his opponents in November to run a campaign “focused on issues, focused on solutions.”
“I hope we can have an aggressive series of debates and forums around the state. Let the voters ask us about our views of the state and how we plan to move Minnesota forward,” he said.