Minnesota governor candidates endure 'job interview'
ST. PAUL -- Politics aside, Tom Emmer, Tom Horner and Mark Dayton say they are ready to run Minnesota. In what was termed a "job interview" in front of about 150 people, the three major governor candidates Wednesday night told about their faults ...
ST. PAUL -- Politics aside, Tom Emmer, Tom Horner and Mark Dayton say they are ready to run Minnesota.
In what was termed a "job interview" in front of about 150 people, the three major governor candidates Wednesday night told about their faults and their strengths as they campaign to be the state's chief executive officer.
Horner, the Independence Party candidate, admitted to making a mistake as U.S. Sen. David Durenberger's chief of staff when he did not believe a staff member. The staffer was right.
"It was a good lesson in ... the importance of trusting people," Horner said.
Republican Emmer admitted to a weakness: "You don't have to take on every battle."
He said he would make another change. "Pace. My pace is about 150 mph all the time.
For Democrat Dayton, he needs to learn something: "Patience."
"I'm demanding of myself, and I'm demanding of the people who work for me," he said.
Dayton did not give an example of a mistake he has made at work but said: "I believe my best years lie ahead."
A 3M employee asked Horner to give an example of innovation. The Independence Party hopeful said his economic policy and campaign are innovative.
"Taking on a tax system ... that matches the economy" is a good example of that, he said, reminding the audience that he would expand the sales tax to services while lowering the overall tax rate.
Emmer said he would not blindly follow Republican teachings. "I would rise above party politics."
Dayton promised to hire the best people available to run his team to transition into the governor's office and later do the same for agency leaders. For instance, he said, he wants a practicing farmer to run the Agriculture Department and an educator for the Education Department.
Emmer refused to answerwhich governor he is like. He said only that he is like Tom Emmer. "I am not Al Quie, and I am not Tim Pawlenty."
The forum was sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio and KARE 11 television and mostly featured questions like those at job interviews.
The candidates have two more joint appearances before Election Day. They go on public television at 7 p.m. Friday on Twin Cities Public Television's "Almanac" for a discussion. All Minnesota public television stations will air the debate at 10 p.m. Friday.
Their final appearance will be 4 p.m. Sunday on Minnesota Public Radio.
Davis reports for Forum Communications Co., which owns the Herald.