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Home / News / Republican Sen. Dave Thompson launches 2014 campaign for governor
Thompson was surrounded by his family in St. Paul as he announced his campaign, before making stops in Duluth and his hometown of Lakeville. The attorney and former talk show host filed his campaign paperwork earlier this week and joins Republican Rep. Kurt Zellers, Wayzata businessman Scott Honour and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson in race to take on DFL Gov. Mark Dayton.

Republican Sen. Dave Thompson launches 2014 campaign for governor

GOP Sen. Dave Thompson annouces 2014 campaign for governor (staff photo: Peter Bartz-Gallagher)

Republican state Sen. Dave Thompson launched his 2014 campaign for governor on Thursday, stressing the need for lower taxes, a strong public education system and a governor who will “get out of the way.”

Thompson, surrounded by his family, launched his campaign in St. Paul before making stops in Duluth, Rochester and his hometown of Lakeville.  The attorney and former talk show host filed his campaign paperwork earlier this week and joins Republican Rep. Kurt Zellers, Wayzata businessman Scott Honour and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson in the race to take on DFL Gov. Mark Dayton.

Thompson, who was first elected to the Senate in 2010, criticized Dayton and Democrats in the Legislature for raising $2 billion in new taxes last session and spending it on “wasteful” government programs.  “This last session, you folks out there paying the taxes, paying the bills for government, were treated like an ATM machine, and that’s just not right,” Thompson said.  “We don’t want to make hard-working taxpayers give more money to a government that is bureaucratized and wasteful and spent our money in ways that we don’t believe it should.”

Thompson made a name for himself in St. Paul during his first term with his fiery style of conservative politics and for pushing a right-to-work constitutional amendment. Within minutes of launching his campaign on Thursday, the Minnesota AFL-CIO released a statement saying Thompson would bring Wisconsin’s “Walker-style politics” to Minnesota.

“Since entering the State Senate, Dave Thompson has made eroding all Minnesota workers’ rights, wages, and benefits his top priority,” Minnesota AFL-CIO president Shar Knutson said in a statement. “From attempting to weaken collective bargaining rights to championing an unsafe, unfair, and unnecessary ‘right to work’ amendment; Dave Thompson has repeatedly tried and failed to turn Minnesota into Scott Walker’s Wisconsin.”

Thompson said he isn’t “troubled” by his poor standing with union groups, noting that he would support right-to-work legislation as governor. “I don’t think that big labor serves laborers,” he said. “The union machine has gotten very separated from the union worker.”

He also dismissed the idea that he only appeals to the far-right of the Republican Party, touting work he has done serving on education committees in the Senate and legislation he’s authored with Democrats.  “I think I bring to the table the ability to talk to people in such a way that they’re accepting of my ideas or values,” he said. “I will be leading all Minnesotans, not just a group.”

Thompson plans to seek the Republican Party’s endorsement and abide by that decision, stressing the need for “unity.”  Already, Zellers and Honour have said they are prepared to head to a primary election. “One of my themes is going to be unity, unity of all Minnesotans, and of course before we get there, unity of Republicans,” he said. “That endorsement is an important way of demonstrating that the people who built this party mean something to you.”

GOP Rep. Marion O’Neill introduced Thompson at the press conference, and GOP Sen. Sean Nienow and former Sen. Gretchen Hoffman were there to show their support for his campaign.

About Briana Bierschbach


  1. Here is a lesson in liberal media bias. It would seem somewhat reliable that the press might give you a little space to elaborate your concerns and agenda on the day you announce your canidacy for office. Not hear. The reporter took the extra time to not write or delete what Mr. Thompson had to say. Why? So that they could print VERBATIM what a hard bitten, bitter activist, loyal segment of Mr. Thompson’s opposition had to say. A serious question for you reporters who are angry at what I say. Does your reporter software have ‘fill in segments’ designed for you? Example

    Who is running for office Lovely Democrat we like? Or bad Republican / If Conservative click evil tab.

    Insert here: One to three boring sentences about Conservative’s goals. Try using one syllable words. This box has limited space.Don’t try to write much bio on the conservative. The DFL-Liberal- or Happy to pay for Minnesota will get you the bio details later.They need to dig up dirt. Remember how it worked with Tom Emmer? ‘K?

    Insert here: OPPOSITION COMMENTS. Cut and paste is available in this box. The organization or person from DFL or Happy to Pay, Or DFL opponent will send you some great copy. They have PR people who write better praise then you do, and can make it look close to you know, reporting and journalism. So let them do that part. Just check the boxes to indicate how many words you need to fill out your content sheet.

    Insert Opponents questions here. Print abbreviated answers. What ever you do, don’t let or report what consevative candidate talk about what they think the issues are. They are just running for office. Find out what the issues are from his opponent or some hot blog.

  2. Bierschbach should be fired for her biased exhibit of journalism here. Shar Knutsons comments can wait for another day.

    But hey, Berschbach- your pointy headed liberalism has got to get in the way of every you do do…right?

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