Polls Open to Decide Governor's GOP Opponent

Updated: 08/12/2014 6:10 PM
Created: 08/12/2014 6:08 AM

Minnesotans are going to the polls in a primary election that will determine which Republicans will face Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken in the fall, among other races.

About a half dozen people were waiting in line when polls opened Tuesday at Pax Christi Catholic Church in suburban Eden Prairie where a contested state house race is on the Republican ballot. Sunny skies and crisp temperatures made for a pleasant morning to vote, but turnout is expected to be light across the state, reaching perhaps 10 to 15 percent.          

Tuesday's primary had no runaway favorite, and with light turnout expected, the four major candidates for governor were bracing for a close race. Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson had the party's endorsement against businessman Scott Honour and veteran lawmakers Marty Seifert and Kurt Zellers.          

While he's waited for a challenger, Dayton has spent the summer promoting the state's economic turnaround. But Republicans see him as vulnerable for supporting a problematic state health insurance marketplace. They've also attacked his union connections and tried to tie him to a new office building for senators that they've portrayed as lavish.
It's the GOP's first competitive primary for governor in two decades.

There's less drama on the Democratic side of the ballot where the main event is a statewide primary for state auditor.

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Scott Honour, a Republican candidate for governor, meets the owner of a Stillwater, Minn., cafe on Monday, August 11, 2014.
Photo: AP/Brian Bakst

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