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A look ahead at 2014 state executive elections in Minnesota

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July 30, 2013

Minnesota

By Greg Janetka

SAINT PAUL, Minnesota: In 2014, Minnesota voters will head to the polls to elect five state executive positions: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, and Auditor.

All five positions are currently held by Democrats. Democrats currently have a 39-28 majority in the state Senate and a 73-61 majority in the House.

Here's a preview of the statewide offices up for election in 2014:

Governor

Incumbent Mark Dayton (D) has served as governor since January 2011. He narrowly won the position, defeating Republican Tom Emmer by a margin of 43.63 percent to 43.21 percent.[1] Dayton announced several months ago that he would seek a second term[2] and Republicans have been lining up for the chance to take him on.

In April, businessman Scott Honour became the first Republican to officially launch a campaign.[3] Since then Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, state Rep. Kurt Zellers, and state Sen. Dave Thompson have all declared their candidacy.[4][5][6] Additionally, state Rep. John Kriesel and state Sen. Julie Rosen have shown interest in a possible run.[7][8] Former U.S. Senator Norm Coleman said he would not seek the governorship.[9][10]

Lieutenant Governor

Yvonne Prettner Solon was elected Lieutenant Governor on a ticket with Dayton on November 2, 2010. She is eligible for re-election but has not yet declared her intentions in the race. Additionally, no other candidates have declared.

Secretary of State

Incumbent Secretary of State Mark Ritchie (D) was first elected in 2006 and won re-election in 2010. Although eligible for re-election in 2014, Ritchie said in a June 2013 statement that he will not run for a third term.[11]

Following Ritchie's announcement, a number of candidates threw their hat into the ring. On the Democratic side, this includes former Hennepin County Elections Manager & Attorney Rachel Bohman, state Rep. Debra Hilstrom, and former state Rep. Jeremy Kalin. Additionally, state Reps. Steve Simon, Ryan Winkler, and Roger Reinert are said to be considering jumping in.[12]

Over on the Republican side, potential candidates include state Reps. Pat Garofalo and Joyce Peppin, state Sen. Warren Limmer, and college professor Kent Kaiser.[13]

Attorney General

When she was sworn into office on January 2, 2007, Attorney General Lori Swanson became the first woman in the state to serve in the position.[14] She is eligible for re-election but has yet to announce her intentions in the race. As of yet no candidates have stepped forward.

Auditor

Minnesota State Auditor Rebecca Otto was elected in 2006 and narrowly re-elected in 2010. She is eligible but has not yet said if she intends to seek a third term. Randy Gilbert, the former mayor of Long Lake, announced back in April that he would seek the GOP nomination. Gilbert ran for the post in 2010, losing the nod to former state auditor Pat Anderson.[15]

See also

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References