The Republican gubernatorial nomination field has gained a fifth contender, with activist Rob Farnsworth announcing that he would seek the state’s top office in 2014. Farnsworth registered his candidacy with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board on Monday, and launched a website and campaign social media feeds on Wednesday morning.
Businessman Scott Honour, Rep. Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, and Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson are all seeking the party’s nomination, and party insiders expect at least one or two more prominent GOP candidates to join the race.
Farnsworth, a special education teacher who lives in Hibbing, has worked on political campaigns and served as a local and state-level party delegate. He sought the GOP endorsement in the 8th Congressional District in 2010, but lost that contest to Chip Cravaack, who went on to unseat Jim Oberstar. Farnsworth also mulled a second congressional candidacy against DFL U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson when initial redistricting lines would have placed him in the 7th District, but subsequent reworking of the districts kept him in the 8th Congressional District.
On his website, Farnsworth outlines his personal background and political beliefs. Farnsworth attended college at the University of St. Thomas, where he majored in History and Social Studies. He now teaches special education for the Hibbing School District, and previously worked as a teacher with the state Department of Corrections.
Farnsworth is opposed to abortion and an avid supporter of the Second Amendment, calling the right to bear arms a “fundamental right that is guaranteed by the Constitution.” Farnsworth also believes the state government has grown unnecessarily, and thinks Minnesota should lower its income tax level to bring the rate in line with neighboring states.
A campaign ad uploaded to Youtube features Farnsworth’s wife, Jamie, a nurse, and his two children.
“I will fight to reduce the tax burden and over-regulation in Minnesota,” Farnsworth says, “and make Minnesota the most welcoming state to create and keep good jobs.”
Farnsworth’s campaign chair is Joe Blum, a Republican from West St. Paul who ran a legislative campaign against Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, in 2012, and lost by 25 percent.
View Farnsworth’s Youtube ad below.