Front, from Left: David Hann, Tom Horner, Paul Thissen, John Uldrich, Tom Rukavina, Bill Haas, Tom Emmer, John Marty, Sue Gaertner. Ole Savior (not pictured). Back: Tom Bakk, Steve Kelley, Mark Dayton, Phil Herwig, Marty Seifert, Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Rob Hahn, R.T. Rybak, Leslie Davis. Rahn Workcuff (not pictured). (Photo by J. Lee)
By J. Lee
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (Jan. 27, 2010). The first forum of Gubernatorial Candidates from all major Minnesota political parties was held last Wednesday at the Sheraton Bloomington as part of the Minnesota Newspaper Association Annual Convention. Twenty of the 30 candidates that attended the event, hosted by the Minnesota News Council, the League of Women Voters, represented the Democratic-Farm-Labor Party, Independent Party, and the Republican Party. The Minnesota Campaign Finance Board shows that 22 gubernatorial candidates have so far filed for the election.
The DFL candidates present were: Tom Bakk, Mark Dayton, Susan Gaertner, Steve Kelley, Margaret Anderson Kelliher, John Marty, Tom Rukavina, R.T. Rybak, Ole Savior, and Paul Thissen.
The Republican Party candidates were: Leslie Davis, Tom Emmer, Bill Haas, David Hann, Phil Herwig, and Marty Seifert.
The Independence Party candidates were: Rob Hahn, Tom Horner, John Uldrich, and Rahn Workcuff. Candidate websites, background, and accomplishments can be Googled.
Some candidates have information at www.leg.state.mn.us or their city’s websites.
The candidates were divided into four groups of five candidates. Each group was presented questions from a member of the press, Echo Press Editor Al Enedloff, Minnesota Public Radio Producer Gary Eichten, and Star Tribune Columnist Lori Sturdevant,
The issues covered agriculture, budget, economy, education, environment, government, healthcare, housing and foreclosures, human services, innovations, jobs, revenue, seniors, taxes, technology, transportation, unallotment, and “hot-button” issues.
For full coverage of the debate, visit http://theuptake.org/
Voters casting ballots for governor may reduce the number of candidates after caucuses. However, party delegates will endorse their candidate at their State Convention in a few months.
Some candidates may choose to run through the public Primary Election even if they are not endorsed because of the open seat and the number of candidates. At the forum 12 of the candidates said they would abide by the endorsement process.
The Minnesota Legislature will vote in May whether to move the Primary Election date to August 10 from its current September 14 date. The General Election is held on November 2, where only one candidate from each party will remain on the ballet.
The Sec. of State’s website also has new information on Absentee voting in the Primary and General Elections. For questions, you can also call 651-215-1440.