GOP-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson speaks on his upcoming campaign against Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton during a Republican party candidate stop in Austin Tuesday. -- Trey Mewes/trey.mewes@austindailyherald.com
GOP-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson speaks on his upcoming campaign against Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton during a Republican party candidate stop in Austin Tuesday. -- Trey Mewes/trey.mewes@austindailyherald.com

GOP candidates focus on jobs, business climate during stopover

Published 10:45am Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Republican contenders for several high-profile races stopped at the Austin Municipal Airport Tuesday as part of a statewide tour to gain support against Democratic incumbents in this year’s election.

“We have genuine leaders,” Chris Fields, deputy chair of the Minnesota GOP said. “This is a diverse group of individuals who bring a ton of talent back to government once they are elected.”

Republicans say Minnesota should focus on business initiatives and keeping jobs within the state. Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, the GOP-endorsed candidate for governor, called jobs his No. 1 priority should he be elected.

“The reality is we are not competitive” in keeping jobs within the state, Johnson said.

Republicans have called for decreased business taxes that could affect business growth within the state.

Johnson, of Plymouth, earned the GOP endorsement at a party convention last weekend after former state Rep. Marty Seifert, of Springfield, released his delegates in the third round of ballots for the gubernatorial race without technically withdrawing from the race. Johnson will face Seifert; businessman Scott Honour, of Wayzata; and former state House Speaker Kurt Zellers, of Maple Grove in the Aug. 12 primary to see which candidate will run against Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton.

U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden said if elected, he would also focus on job creation at the national level. McFadden will campaign against U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, this year.

“Al Franken has a record of destroying jobs,” McFadden said. “He and President Obama have perpetrated a war on jobs in our country and I look forward to speaking about that over the next five months.”

GOP candidates Randy Gilbert, Dan Severson, Bill Kuisle and Scott Newman were also on hand to seek local support. Gilbert is running for state auditor, Severson for secretary of state, and Newman for Attorney General. Kuisle is running as the GOP-endorsed Lt. Governor candidate alongside Johnson.


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