Hann cites personal, professional reasons for staying out of governor’s race

Republican state Sen. David Hann is not going to run for governor, but he wants to lay the groundwork for other Republicans to win in 2014.

“I was elected to lead our caucus,” he said. “It deserves my full attention.”

Hann said that part of that attention will be directed at helping Republican candidates in the House win back the majority. “Every House district is part of a Senate district, and a number of those races are in districts where we will have contests, so helping our friends win will be helpful to us as well,” he said. 

Legislative Republicans have been unified in their message that the state budget enacted under DFL leadership has overreached, overtaxed and overspent. Hann said he will encourage GOP candidates to continue to press those themes. 

“I don’t believe that that’s what citizens in the state were hoping for,” he said. “ [It’s] excessive spending that, for the most part, is political payback to union allies without real reform. I don’t think that’s the kind of government that people were voting for.”

At one time, Hann, a fourth-term senator from Eden Prairie, had signaled he would be interested in joining the field of candidates seeking to challenge Gov. Mark Dayton. He indicated that family reasons were part of his choice to stay out of the race. 

His wife, Anne, has had chemotherapy treatment for a lymphoma. Hann says she is in recovery. “Hopefully it will continue to get better,” he said. But her condition “certainly was a part” of his decision, he said.

Orono businessman Scott Honour, Hennepin County commissioner Jeff Johnson, state Rep. Kurt Zellers, and state Sen. Dave Thompson have said they will seek the Republican nomination. “I know three of them of them reasonably well,” Hann said. “I don’t know Scott Honour. I suspect one or two others will become candidates before this is said and done.”

For the present, Hann said he prefers to focus on other challenges, including the day-to-day business of running a legislative caucus, like handling the personnel and training issues that come with any organization.

Hann also hinted at a more aggressive Republican presence for the 2014 legislative session, one emboldened by DFL concerns about the new state tax on warehousing.

“The fact that we’re all ready seeing Democrats echoing the same concerns — that is pretty telling,” he said.

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Alice Gibson on 07/09/2013 - 08:40 pm.

    David Hann wasn’t getting any traction.

    …for several good reasons.

    There was David’s central role in the Keystone Kops-style palace coup against Dear Leader Amy Koch and her very personal Rasputin, Michael Brodkorb. And there was that ugly conflict-of-interest scene, where David was busily pushing a health care privatization bill through the Senate while quietly becoming a licensed health insurance salesman. And of course, David’s open letter dressing down the Archbishop for being kind to the poor wasn’t much help.

    So, when Republican activists stated very publicly in December that David ‘can not win,’ only two days after he had started the Draft David Hann movement, the portents were there for anyone willing to read them

    David Hann’s problem is David Hann. One of the most arrogant and sanctimonious politicos ever to strut around the Capitol, David hasn’t a clue on how to make friends. And when nobody likes you, nobody wants to sacrifice their time for you, or give you money. For the Republicans, however, David’s decision is fortuitous. If David had become the GOP nominee, nobody would have wanted to vote for him, either.

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