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Talking Points: Challenges Of Running In An August Primary

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Republicans may have already had their nominating convention, but four candidates remain in the race for Minnesota Governor.

The four will face off in an Aug. 12 primary that is expected to have a turnout of only 10 percent of eligible voters. That means the next eight weeks will be marked by a high stakes push to identify and appeal to those who might go to the polls.

The Aug. 12 primary poses significant challenges for the four Republicans who want to be Governor. Not only is the turnout expected to be very low, the timing is tough. In the middle of August is when most Minnesotans are thinking vacations, not politics. Another problem is that three of the candidates have similar backgrounds.

While businessman Scott Honour is a political newcomer, the party endorsed candidate Jeff Johnson, as well as Marty Seifert and Kurt Zellers, have all served in the Minnesota Legislature and have similar stands on key issues. It's a recipe that makes for an unpredictable outcome.

Former state representative and gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert appeared on WCCO Sunday Morning.

"A lot of this is about getting out and informing people about your positions, about your background, why you think you are going to be a good leader for the state of Minnesota and of course for Republicans its really going to be about who can beat Mark Dayton," Seifert said. "I think we have the best organized campaign and people are going to rally to our side Aug. 12."

Last week, Seifert was booed by GOP convention delegates when he announced he would run in the primary and not back the party-endorsed candidate, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson. Honour and former House Speaker Zellers didn't even try for the party endorsement. But not getting the endorsement hasn't hurt other candidates. In 2010, Mark Dayton skipped the DFL nominating convention and went on to win the primary and of course the Governor's race.

The Republican endorsed candidate for Senate, Mike McFadden, will face Rep. Jim Abeler in the August primary.

You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy and Matt Brickman every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.


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