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Former Marshall-area Rep. Seifert enters Minn. governor's race

ST. PAUL - Greater Minnesota's gained a 2014 governor candidate today. Former state Rep. Marty Seifert of Marshall announced he is vying for the Republican nomination. He was widely expected to enter the race after losing the GOP endorsement to T...

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ST. PAUL - Greater Minnesota's gained a 2014 governor candidate today.

Former state Rep. Marty Seifert of Marshall announced he is vying for the Republican nomination. He was widely expected to enter the race after losing the GOP endorsement to Tom Emmer in 2010.

He made his announcement in Marshall, then headed to St. Paul and Mankato.

Seifert, who at one time was the House Republican leader, said Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has provided "poor leadership." Dayton plans to seek a second term.

"Higher taxes, burdensome regulations, dysfunctional government, the threat of losing health care and fewer good opportunities have been the hallmarks of Dayton's administration - I will not stand by and watch our great state fall to his detrimental policies," Seifert said.

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The 41-year-old Republican has been a teacher, real estate agent, businessman and worked for his local hospital foundation.

He said he will concentrate on five major issues during his campaign: taxes and regulation, size of state government, transportation priorities, public safety and sex offender programs and education reform.

He joins other Republicans in the GOP race: state Sen. Dave Thompson, businessman Scott Honour, teacher Rob Farnsworth of Hibbing, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson and state Rep. Kurt Zellers.

State Sen. Julie Rosen of Fairmont has said she was considering running, but she now is expected not to jump in.

Farnsworth is the only other greater Minnesota candidate in the race, but others have touted their rural experience. Zellers, for instance, grew up on a North Dakota farm and Johnson is a Detroit Lakes native.

The Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a liberal group, released a statement from Executive Director Carrie Lucking calling Seifert a "career politician."

"Marty Seifert has always had the backs of big businesses at the expense of working Minnesotans," Lucking said. "Seifert pledged to never ask businesses to pay their fair share, and he wanted to eliminate the department that makes sure our workplaces are safe."

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