Independence Party ready to pick candidate
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's third-largest political party meets this weekend to endorse its governor candidate. The Minnesota Independence Party will choose among at least three candidates Saturday at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, thou...
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's third-largest political party meets this weekend to endorse its governor candidate.
The Minnesota Independence Party will choose among at least three candidates Saturday at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, though all confirmed candidates have said they will run in an Aug. 10 primary election regardless of what party convention delegates decide.
Flanked by his family and by former U.S. Sen. Dave Durenberger and former Independence governor candidate Tim Penny, Tom Horner officially kicked off his campaign on Tuesday at the Capitol.
Horner, the party's apparent endorsement front-runner, described himself as a moderate choice between three Democrats who will run in a primary and Republican candidate Tom Emmer.
He said he is the right person for the job because he is open to good ideas from both sides, where the other candidates are not.
Horner is a former Republican who worked for Durenberger in Washington. And he believes Minnesotans will consider him a serious option.
Durenberger compared Horner to former governors Elmer Andersen and Harold LeVander in his willingness to work with both parties. He called Horner "the only independent thinker on the ballot this November."
Jack Uldrich, who chairs the party, said he will be surprised if Horner does not receive the endorsement.
But two others, St. Paul businessman Rob Hahn and retired executive John Uldrich, have been campaigning.
All three candidates plan to run in an August primary if they do not get endorsed, though Jack Uldrich said he would encourage those who do not get the nod to end their campaigns.
A fourth candidate, party activist Chris Pfeifer, also could seek endorsement, Jack Uldrich said.
Horner, Hahn and Uldrich sparred on Minnesota Public Radio Tuesday morning over health care reform, the state's ongoing budget problems and other issues.
Hahn called himself the true independent candidate. He criticized Horner for being a political insider with long Republican ties.
He has proposed a "fat tax" on fast food and legalizing riverboat gambling and said every state department will have to propose 8 to 15 percent budget cuts to balance the deficit.
Tellijohn reports for Forum Communications Co., which owns the Herald.