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Gubernatorial candidates: Ins and outs (and maybes) of the race

Minnesota’s 2010 governor’s race is wide open and drawing a lot of attention from pundits and politicians. After Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced that he would not seek reelection, a small army of gubernatorial aspirants has been maneuvering into position to make a run. And more names get mentioned as possible candidates by the day.

Confused about who’s in, who’s out and who’s thinking about running for governor next year? MinnPost has put together this voter’s guide to help you sort out the candidates — and non-candidates — in the gubernatorial race.

The guide lists prominent Minnesotans from various parties who you might have heard mentioned as potential gubernatorial candidates. Some of these people have already said they plan to run, some have said they are thinking about running, some have made clear that they will not run and others have been silent on the question.

We have included in the guide relevant comments each person has made recently about running for governor, a summary of their political and non-political backgrounds and links to their websites and to interesting background material about them.

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Check out questions readers have for Minnesota’s candidates for governor (and some answers) at


Most of the research was done by MinnPost’s three summer interns: Alexander I. Amend, Wilt Hodges and Emily Ness.

The guide will be updated as the campaign goes forward and as candidates enter and exit the race, so check back frequently.

And if there’s additional information you’d like to know about a potential candidate, let us know in the comments below.

Roger Buoen, MinnPost co-managing editor, can be reached at rbuoen [at] minnpost [dot] com.

Comments (10)

  1. Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 06/29/2009 - 10:05 am.

    Leslie Davis is a Republican?!? Really?

    The GOP tent is bigger than I thought.

  2. Submitted by Beryl John-Knudson on 06/29/2009 - 10:12 am.

    Looks like it’s going to be a endless karaoke contest singing the governor’s song…”anything you can do I can do better; I can do anything better than you…no, you can’t, yes I can…”

    Or maybe it is just another chess game without a stop clock…party heads doing the eliminations; lopping off others…a king, a queen, a knight, , a pawn, oh!

    …plus note too, all the pics are sans wrinkles, sans charactar definitions; political personhood stripped from their faces. But just maybe, smiles and frowns and rightous anger will soon humanize the campaign and tell us what they really think* – certainly there are a few among the many who have been endowed with that capacity*?

    Others I suppose, will forever retain blank faces, and will remain so; coming up with platitudes so browned by time, the voter will quickly walk away.

    May there be a handful among them who will not look down their nose at the people in controlled arrogance like the last guv…we need change. Hopefully in a crowd of so many faces one, two, three powerful voices will survive and refresh the picture beyond this phot-op pop, whatever..

  3. Submitted by Aaron Klemz on 06/29/2009 - 10:14 am.

    You forgot Maureen Reed. Then again, that’s understandable given the raw number of candidates.

  4. Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 06/29/2009 - 10:54 am.

    Aaron, hasen’t Dr. Reed already committed herself to challenging Rep. Bachmann in MN 6th?

  5. Submitted by Aaron Klemz on 06/29/2009 - 11:23 am.

    Oops, you are exactly right. Sorry, so many names, so many offices – I saw Bachmann’s name at the top and got it mixed up. Also, since she ran as the Lt. Gov slot last time with Hutchison… Anyhow, my mistake.

  6. Submitted by Zach Thompson on 06/29/2009 - 11:58 am.

    How depressing to see next to no diversity in this whole group. Same old…same old…

  7. Submitted by Jim Spensley on 06/29/2009 - 07:35 pm.

    So many candidates! Almost all figure to do better than the incumbent, and that low hurdle may explain Ms. Bachmann’s entry.

    Several years ago, working on Paul Thissen’s first campaign, I saw the makings of a great Governor.

    As a life-long DFL’r, I have many friends among the DFL group. Most of the group share my transportation, energy, and environmental views.

    Paul’s confidence in the people of Minnesota is his greatest asset. We have problems we need to solve together.

  8. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 06/29/2009 - 08:44 pm.

    There will only be a hand full of candidates that will be able to raise the kind of cash that the next gubernatorial race will require.

    That fact alone should eliminate most of the current field. As we can see with the current field of “potential gubernatorial candidates”, theirs is a quiet campaign for the donor.

  9. Submitted by James Hamilton on 09/20/2009 - 09:34 pm.

    Too many re-treads, all with too many miles.

  10. Submitted by Luke Hosfield on 10/01/2009 - 01:09 pm.

    I think the DFL state reps running for governor will have a lot of explaining to do for this last legislative session. Those of us that follow MN politics will not soon forget that disaster. And hopefully next session they can make some more substantial progress.

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