Blois Olson: Another DFL name surfaces in race for governor

Endorsed candidate Murphy says it "doesn't really matter"

The WCCO Morning News with Dave Lee
June 04, 2018 - 7:13 am

The clock is ticking for candidates to file for the August 14th Minnesota primary election, and it's possible yet another name will be added to the already crowded ballot.

In his regular segment Monday on the Morning News, WCCO's Blois Olson said there's talk of another name for the DFL nomination for governor.

"The buzz of today is that Lori Swanson, the attorney general, is talking with Rick Nolan, the retiring congressman, about running as governor and lieutenant governor, respectively," said Olson.

Swanson was up for a fourth term as attorney general, and led after the first endorsement ballot during Saturday's DFL convention in Rochester. But Swanson abruptly pulled out, with Matt Pelikan gaining the party endorsement by acclimation.

"You know, I've heard that rumor and other rumors as well," said Erin Murphy, who won the DFL endorsement for governor at the convention. "It doesn't really matter. I am the DFL-endorsed candidate running for governor in the state of Minnesota."

Swanson did not appear before delegates during the convention, with former attorney general Mike Hatch speaking on her behalf.

"He pretty much did everything he could to alienate the delegates, giving her the opportunity to run," said Olson, noting that Hatch "dissed" the endorsement process during an appearance Friday on TPT's Almanac program.

The deadline to file for the primary election is Tuesday at 5 p.m.

"This is all kind of a whirlwind, and going to happen very quickly," Olson said.

Murphy outlasted Tim Walz after multiple ballots. On Sunday, Murphy chose Erin Maye Quade as her running mate.

Walz held a rally with his supporters outside the Mayo Civic Center during the convention on Saturday and he filed for the primary on Monday morning.

On the Republican side, Hennepin County commissioner Jeff Johnson won the endorsement easily during the GOP convention in Duluth. 

Former governor Tim Pawlenty, who did not take part in the convention, is planning to run in the primary.

"Believe me, I wouldn't be running if I didn't think I could beat him," Johnson told WCCO's Esme Murphy. "He's going to outspend me. Wealthy donors love this guy and they're going to give to him early. They will give to me, begrudgingly, later. They did four years ago."

Johnson lost in the general election to DFL'er Mark Dayton, who won his second term.