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New candidate Seifert claims urban, rural experience

ST. PAUL — Former state Rep. Marty Seifert got into the governor’s race Thursday saying he is the only candidate with deep experience in both the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota.

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The Marshall Republican told reporters at a state Capitol complex news conference that he grew up in rural Minnesota and long has lived in Marshall, but from 1997 to 2010 spent much of his time in the Twin Cities representing his part of southwest Minnesota in the Legislature.

But that was not the main reason he gave in running for governor.

“The No. 1 issue in the campaign is lack of leadership,” he said about incumbent Democrat Mark Dayton.

Seifert promised to reduce Minnesota taxes and regulatory burdens; abolish the Health, Labor and Industry and Corrections departments; improve the state road and bridge system; stop any attempt to release dangerous sex offenders; and make the education system “the best in the country.”

Like he did in his state House races and when he ran for governor in 2010, Seifert said he would reject lobbyists’ donations.

He lost the 2010 GOP governor endorsement to Tom Emmer, who lost the general election to Dayton. Seifert said if he did not get the party’s endorsement at next spring’s state convention, he might run in the primary election.

He made his announcement in Marshall, then headed to St. Paul and Mankato. His wife, Traci, and children Brittany and Braxton were at his side.

The 41-year-old Republican has been a teacher, real estate agent and businessman and worked for his local hospital.

Seifert said he will visit 13 cities by the end of the day Tuesday.

He joins other Republicans in the GOP race: state Sen. Dave Thompson, businessman Scott Honour, teacher Rob Farnsworth, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson and state Rep. Kurt Zellers.

State Sen. Julie Rosen of Fairmont has said she was considering running, but she now is not expected to. Seifert said he likely is the last GOP candidate to get in the race.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.