Minnesota state executive elections preview: Heated races for governor, auditor highlight primary day in Minnesota
By Nick Katers
|August 12, 2014 Election Preview|
ST. PAUL, Minnesota: Minnesota voters will head to the polls on August 12 to cast primary ballots for five state executive offices. The race for governor has drawn the most attention, with three Democrats and five Republicans seeking nominations from their respective parties. Incumbent Gov. Mark Dayton (D) selected chief of staff Tina Smith as his running mate, replacing the outgoing Yvonne Prettner Solon. He faces challengers Bill Dahn and Leslie Davis in the primary. The Republican race features three candidates with state legislative experience, including current State Rep. Kurt Zellers and former State Reps. Marty Seifert and Jeff Johnson.
A competitive race has emerged for the state auditor's office, where incumbent Rebecca Otto (D) faces a challenge from former State Rep. Matt Entenza (D). Entenza filed a complaint with the state's Office of Administrative Hearings this summer, claiming that Otto misrepresented her position on the use of voter identification at the polls. This complaint was dismissed for lack of merit in July, and Otto countered that she has always opposed voter ID.
Below, Ballotpedia has put together a preview of those upcoming elections.
Minnesota Governor and Lieutenant Governor
Mark Dayton first won election in 2010 and seeks a second term in 2014. Jeff Johnson has emerged as the preferred candidate of the Minnesota Republican Party, after receiving the primary endorsement this summer. The winners of the Democratic and Republican primaries will face three third-party candidates in November.
Minnesota Attorney General
The winner of the Republican primary will face a crowded field for the general election, including two-term incumbent Lori Swanson (D) and four third-party candidates.
Minnesota Secretary of State
Incumbent Mark Ritchie (D) did not file for re-election in 2014, leaving an open field for the position in November. Three Democratic candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination, including State Rep. Steve Simon. The winner of the Democratic primary will face Dan Severson (R) and three third-party candidates.
Incumbent Rebecca Otto (D) first won election in 2006, and faces Matt Entenza in the primary. Entenza and Otto were colleagues in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2003 to 2004, when Entenza was the House Minority Leader. The winner of the primary will face Randy Gilbert and three third-party candidates in the general election.
- Minnesota elections, 2014
- Minnesota state executive elections (overview):
- Minnesota Secretary of State Elections & Voting page
- Office of Governor and Lieutenant Governor
- Office of the Minnesota Attorney General
- Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State
- Minnesota Office of the State Auditor
- The Modesto Bee, "Entenza complaint against state auditor dismissed," July 25, 2014
- The Star Tribune, "Race for governor's office: Johnson carries weight of Republican Party's fate," August 2, 2014
- Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, "2014 State General Election Candidate Filings," accessed July 29, 2014