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Seifert seeks local support

Marty Seifert talks to GOP supporters Friday morning at the Willmar airport during his statewide campaign swing announcing his candidacy for governor. Tribune photo by Carolyn Lange

WILLMAR — If a Republican is going to be elected governor in Minnesota, he will need votes from Democrats and independents, said former House minority leader, Marty Seifert, who was in Willmar early Friday morning seeking local support for his own gubernatorial campaign.

Seifert, of Marshall, failed to get the Republican endorsement when he ran for governor in 2010 after delegates instead chose Tom Emmer.

Speaking before about a dozen people at the Willmar airport, Seifert said he thinks his five-point plan to “turn the state around” will appeal to the “average independent and moderate-to-conservative Democrat” in Minnesota who is not happy with the “wandering leadership” of Gov. Mark Dayton.

“My message to the Republican Party is that we cannot win elections if we do not get the votes of non-Republicans,” said Seifert, adding that this time around he will not limit his bid to the endorsement process but would consider a run in the primary election against other Republican candidates.

Seifert said he will not accept campaign money from lobbyists and he will not sign any pledges offered by special interest groups, including a pledge not to raise taxes. Seifert said, however, he has no intention of raising taxes if elected governor.

He said the public is “cynical” of campaign pledges and special interest groups use candidate’s pledges to raise money for their own causes.

Seifert said his plan includes reducing the impact of state government on people’s lives, eliminating three cabinet departments, reducing funds for light rail and increasing it for roads and bridges, keeping sex offenders locked up and increasing reform and choices for K-12 education.

Seifert, who is joining several metro candidates and one from northern Minnesota in the bid for governor, said he will bring a voice from Greater Minnesota. He said he has a good mix of public and private-sector experience and is “hitting the ground running” with a campaign that has him crisscrossing the state through next Tuesday.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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