All the candidates for governor are spending a lot of time at the Minnesota State Fair. We caught up to the big three today and will have interviews with them tonight on Almanac. But the most buzz probably belongs to Independent Tom Horner who is targeting fair goers as they sit or stand to go to the bathroom. When we asked about the so-called urinal ads he says he’s got to have fun and the PR executive says it’s been all good PR. Horner is working on name-ID with voters at the fair and says he’s exactly where he wants to be at this stage in the campaign.
DFLer Mark Dayton is the only major candidate for governor who does not have a booth. He is spending his time at the DFL Party booth. Dayton says that’s not a strategy but the reality of not knowing if he’d survive the new August primary and need a booth. Dayton was rushing around the fairgrounds and eventually into the DFL booth an hour after his schedule said he would be there. He had a long line of people waiting to talk to him and we had to talk him into taking a couple of minutes to do a quick interview. In our conversation he accused Horner of cutting education in our Budget Slap Shot exercise. Horner denies that’s what he plans to do and says his budget plan actually calls for more investments in education.
Republican Tom Emmer says people are really recognizing him, he joked in part because of the “$6 million spent against me!” Emmer’s booth has a spin the wheel feature on his ideas, but he didn’t really know the specifics about it. It’s the first time the current state lawmaker has been at the State Fair as a statewide candidate and he says he’s loving it, especially when he arrives early around 6:00 am and has a chance to chat with people more extensively. With nice weather heading into a weekend the “Great Minnesota Get Together” got busy fast.
One very relaxed politician is Governor Tim Pawlenty. We ran into him chatting with his longtime friend former House Speaker Steve Sviggum. First Lady Mary Pawlenty donned boots next to Tim’s sandals. This is the last State Fair for Pawlenty as governor and he said not having to run for anything at the fair is beyond relaxing.