|By Heather J. Carlson, Post-Bulletin, Rochester, Minn.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Traditionally, Republicans line up behind the endorsed candidate and the primary turns into a formality. But this year is different. Four serious Republican candidates will face-off in the
Johnson nabbed the party's endorsement in May during the state convention in
The four candidates share similar views on issues such as streamlining government regulations and opposing tax increases, but there are some key differences.
Honour describes himself as a political outsider whose business background gives him the skills necessary to make major changes. He said the biggest challenging facing the state is the ever-growing size of government.
"We're letting government get bigger, bigger and bigger and increasingly involved in our lives in a way that is not allowing us to excel the way that we can," he said.
If elected, Honour vowed he would shrink the size of government by rooting out administrative waste, reducing spending on Medicad and eliminating subsidies that benefit one business over another. He'd also push to reduce government regulations and get a right-to-work law passed in the state, which would prohibit employees from being forced to join a union. Honour also supports school vouchers and backs the elimination of teacher tenure.
Johnson makes the case he is the most electable candidate, noting he has a track record of winning support from independents and moderates in elections. The need for more jobs ranks at the top of his priority list. If elected, he said he would focus on improving the state's business climate by lowering and simplifying the state's tax system.
"It's not just whether we have a high income tax rate. I think it's a bigger picture of looking at how we compete with other states, especially in the upper Midwest, when it comes to income tax, corporate tax, property tax and sales tax," Johnson said.
Another priority would be trying to close the achievement gap when it comes to graduation rates for minority and low-income students. The
Seifert said a lack of leadership is the biggest challenge facing the state, and he has the real-world experience to get the state back on track. His resume includes having worked in small business, as a public school teacher and in health care, along with his legislative experience.