WORTHINGTON - Marty Seifert isn’t going down without a fight in the run for governor.
Seifert made a stop Wednesday at the Worthington Airport to talk of his intent to run in the Aug. 12 Republican primary after he lost that party’s endorsement in Rochester last week to Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson.
“Whenever I run for office, and the vote is close to home and free to vote, I win,” Seifert said. “When I ran in 2010, I won the general caucus vote, but it’s when I go to conventions far away - and it’s expensive to vote - it doesn’t work out.”
A southwest Minnesota native, Seifert said that his candidacy gives voters the opportunity to elect a farm kid who grew up in the same area as them.
“As a maverick candidate, I believe that we’re never going to have a governor from southwest Minnesota if it’s not me,” Seifert said. “Four out of the five governors in the past didn’t have the party endorsement, so that tells me that Minnesotans are mavericks, too, and are not afraid to go against the grain.
“Let’s let everyday voters vote, and see how it works.”
The former Republican House Minority Leader explained that what makes him a good candidate are his real-life experiences. Seifert has been a public school teacher, college admissions counselor, Realtor, leader in the Minnesota Legislature and head of a hospital foundation.
Today Seifert runs a small business with his wife, Traci, in Marshall.
“I’m coming hot off my heels after being three years in the health care field, and one of the big issues Minnesota is facing is health care,” Seifert said. “I believe Governor Dayton knows nothing about health care. Our (Minnesota) co-pays and deductibles are among the highest in the U.S.”
Seifert also criticized Dayton’s spending since he has been in office.
“He signed a bill for a Senate building to be built that costs between $77 and $90 million, but then says it’s too expensive,” Seifert explained. “With the Minnesota Vikings stadium, he agreed to it, then later came out saying that it isn’t a very good deal for the taxpayer.”
Seifert also criticized Dayton’s signing a tax bill that he said resulted in property tax increases for farmers.
“I think with my background, people in this area can identify with me more,” he said. “The people will decide in August who is the best to take on Dayton.”
Seifert said he understands the middle class and believes that he is the only one listening to its concerns.
“MNsure is a big issue. The co-pay and deductibles are outrageous, and people feel like they’re not getting the value for their insurance dollar like they used to,” Seifert said. “It’s a disaster for the middle class. I think the middle class is getting a lot of expenses piled on top of one another, and they’re feeling squeezed and frustrated.”
During his travels throughout the state, Seifert explained that he’s noticed a common theme of health care, education and jobs as issues with which Minnesotans are concerned. To combat this, Seifert stated that he will re-evaluate the state budget.
“We need to put the state budget together and have our tax policies reflect our values,” he said. “Minnesota is the No. 3 top state to tax in the country. My goal is to get us out of the top 10.”
Seifert explained that his work ethic will also help him win the race.
“I’m the guy who’s showing up, and I think people appreciate a candidate who goes out there and talks to local folks,” Seifert said. “It’s not about sitting in an office in the Cities and posting on Twitter and Facebook hoping for the best. It’s about doing real work.”
Seifert had a final message for Worthington residents.
“I will never treat Worthington as flyover country, and that won’t change if I make it into office,” he said.
Daily Globe Reporter Erin Trester may be reached at 376-7322.