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Seifert brings primary challenge to Brainerd

With 70 days until the Aug. 12 primary, former Republican Minority Leader Marty Seifert Tuesday brought his primary campaign to the Brainerd area, presenting himself as the only outstate and the strongest candidate to run against DFL Gov. Mark Da...

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With 70 days until the Aug. 12 primary, former Republican Minority Leader Marty Seifert Tuesday brought his primary campaign to the Brainerd area, presenting himself as the only outstate and the strongest candidate to run against DFL Gov. Mark Dayton.

Traveling with Seifert was Rep. Pam Myhra, R-Burnsville, his running mate for lieutenant governor. The Seifert ticket was on a three-day campaign swing that included about 16 cities. They conducted a news conference at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport.

The 14-year veteran of the state Legislature called for more jobs and less government interference in people’s lives. He said he was pro-gun and pro-life.

He chided the other gubernatorial tickets for their lack of balance, saying his Republican rivals all live in western Hennepin County and Dayton and his running mate “live blocks apart, I think,” in Minneapolis.

Seifert failed to win the Republican endorsement last weekend and described himself as a mainstream conservative in a maverick candidacy.

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Pointing out Brainerd’s higher than average unemployment numbers, Seifert stressed the need for a qualified work force and quality of education. He said rural Minnesota has not been treated fairly when it came to education funding, saying they’ve been treated as second class citizens.

He criticized Dayton for unionizing businesses that didn’t want to unionize; for problems with the Vikings stadium; the cost of the planned Senate Office Building; and he termed MNsure a disaster.

“We are going to be a job friendly state, a business friendly state,” Seifert said his potential administration.

Myhra said education and literacy were important priorities for her, noting that she initially struggled in school after spending her early years in Central America and learning English as a second language.

A certified public accountant, she said 54 percent of the voters were women and it was important to have a woman on the Republican statewide ticket.

“I think it’s very important our say is in there,” she said.

She said she did not think a Seifert administration would work to undo the gay marriage law that was passed recently by the Legislature. She described herself and Seifert as strong supporters of family and marriage.

The GOP-endorsed candidate for governor is Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson. In addition to Seifert, Johnson will be challenged by businessman Scott Honour and Rep. Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove.

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MIKE O’ROURKE may be reached at 855-5860 or mike.orourke@brainerddispatch.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MikeORourkenews .

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