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In a press conference in the State Office Building, House Speaker Kurt Zellers lauded the slate of candidates they have recruited for the fall elections and railed on DFLers and Gov. Mark Dayton's administration for trying to raise taxes, "force" unionization of daycare providers and for putting state government spending on "autopilot."

House Republicans kick off 2012 campaign season with mass filing

House Speaker Kurt Zellers surrounded by new and old candidates (Staff photo: Peter Bartz-Gallagher)

Several dozen Republican candidates and lawmakers kicked off the 2012 campaign season on Thursday by filing for office en masse.

At a press conference in the State Office Building, House Speaker Kurt Zellers lauded the slate of candidates they have recruited for the fall elections and railed on DFLers and Gov. Mark Dayton‘s administration for trying to raise taxes, “force” unionization of daycare providers and putting state government spending on “autopilot.”

When asked if they thought Republicans would preserve their new-found majority status in the Legislature after the election this fall, Zellers promptly responded, “Absolutely.”

“And then some!” a new candidate shouted from back row.

“Look at them now, they are a little bit less tan and not quite as thin as they are going to be by late September,” Zellers said, motioning to the long line of candidates. “And they are going to have really good gardening ideas from visiting homes and know lots of breeds of dogs,” House Majority Leader Matt Dean added.

Candidate fanfare will be in abundance in the coming weeks, as the recruiting and campaign filing process comes to a close and door-knocking season starts in earnest.

Some of the new candidates on hand at the press conference: Legislative aides Mandy Benz and Marion O’Neill, attorney and Republican Party of Minnesota executive committee member Scott Dutcher, and Pat Hall, the brother of freshman GOP Sen. Dan Hall.

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