Elected to the House in 2004, Dean served as majority leader from 2011-2013 and is chair of the Health and Human Services Committee. Rather than run for the House next year, though, Dean is one of several Republicans eyeing the position of governor.
“I think Minnesota wants a governor who gets out and says ‘Whether you have a red jersey on or a blue jersey on, put your Minnesota jersey on because we have to move forward,'” Dean said in his Thursday campaign visit. “I’m running for governor because I want the state to work for us again.”
For Dean, a key point of his platform is health care.
“One of the things we’re looking to fight for is better health care for middle class Minnesotans,” Dean said. “Those solutions are simple, but it will require leadership in Minnesota. The leadership will come down to dealing with (Washington) DC, to say either we’re going to need forgiveness or we’re going to need permission, but we’re going to do it our way.
“We need to reverse course immediately to restore Minnesota health care to what it was and also leadership in some other areas as well,” Dean said.
Dean’s appearance in Bemidji is one of several he’s making in the coming weeks, as he’s planning to meet with the public in all of Minnesota’s 87 counties. His tour of counties will finish in Brainerd in December at the GOP’s State Central Committee meeting.
Other Republican candidates running for governor include:
• Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson.
• Former Minnesota Republican Party Chairman Keith Downey.
• St. Cloud resident Christopher William Chamberlin.
• District 33 Sen. David Osmek, R-Mound.
On the Democratic-Farmer-Labor side meanwhile, those in the race are:
• St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.
• District 64A Rep. Erin Murphy, St. Paul.
• Minnesota State Auditor Rebecca Otto.
• District 1 Congressman Tim Walz.
• Former District 61B Rep. Paul Thissen, Minneapolis.
• District 26A Rep. Tina Liebling, Rochester.