Charlie Weaver, executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership, announced this morning that he won't run for governor. In an interview, Weaver joked that it's Thanksgiving week and he's "thankful he's not running for governor." Weaver ran for Attorney General in 1998 and said he knows how difficult it is to run a statewide campaign.
"Mostly, it was an unwillingness to make the sacrifice, "Weaver said. "The personal commitment is just too much."
Weaver said he isn't ready to back a candidate right now but will back a candidate at some point. He also suggested that there are other Republicans who can enter the race like former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman or state Rep. Laura Brod.
Despite Weaver's assessment, the timing of the precinct caucuses could make it difficult for a newcomer to make a splash at this point. We'll see if any other candidates get in or if those sitting on the sidelines start backing the candidates currently in the race.
Here's Weaver's news release with a special Top 10 list:
Charlie Weaver today announced that he will not be a candidate for Governor in 2010.
Weaver, a former Republican state legislator, Chief of Staff to Governor Tim Pawlenty, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety for Governor Jesse Ventura and criminal prosecutor for Anoka County, said he made the decision based on personal considerations.
"Running for Governor is a full time job and I know well the sacrifices that go along with the decision to seek statewide office," said Weaver, who ran for Attorney General in 1998. "The toll that a year-long political campaign takes on your family is just something that I am not willing to accept. Life is short, and the thought of quitting my job and basically not seeing much of my wife and four children for the next year was just something that I couldn't justify."
Weaver and his wife, Julie, live in Anoka with their four school-age children.
"Recently, Julie and I were discussing the pros and cons of my getting in the race. That same night, we had one son at bowling practice, one son in both a football game and at hockey practice after football, our daughter at dance and our other son in a band concert. Life is hectic, but I also really enjoy attending our kid's activities. I love public service, but time with my kids - particularly at this point in their lives - is more important to me."
Weaver is currently the Executive Director of the Minnesota Business Partnership, an organization comprised of the CEOs of Minnesota's 100 largest companies. The mission of the Partnership is to grow Minnesota's economy and improve Minnesota's quality of life through keeping Minnesota globally competitive.
"While the Governor of Minnesota is a pretty good job, I am blessed to have a great job right now", said Weaver. "I am able to work with some of the brightest business leaders in the world on issues that matter to our state and we've made a difference in protecting Minnesota's remarkable quality of life."
"There are many ways to serve this great state," said Weaver. "Continuing to lead the Partnership in this challenging economic and political environment with a focus on growing jobs in Minnesota and being the best Dad I can be is the best way to contribute right now."
"When I initially indicated that I was exploring getting into the Governor's race, the reaction at that time of my ten-year-old son was "Don't do it, Dad - you'll get crushed!" While I still don't agree with his assessment of my chances, I would dearly miss being around him for the next year and hearing more of his good advice."
Weaver offered 10 additional reasons why he won't be running for Governor in 2010:
1. The Governor's Residence is nice, but it ain't Anoka;
2. Old streaking " incident" makes endorsement unlikely;
3. Has only raised $25.13 so far;
4. Discovered that he has to pay for personal parties at the Residence;
5. Thinks unallotment is a board game;
6. Troopers told him he couldn't wander the Residence in his underwear;
7. Friends are too "busy" to attend convention;
8. Gift ban makes it harder to get free stuff;
9. Not interested in all those boring budget meetings; and
10. Recent polling reveals he would lose to the intoxicated motorized LazyBoy guy.
Oh too bad about Charlie Weaver. I was looking forward to him running for governr so I could whack him around for his help with the Jesse Ventura bribery fix in 1998. Or did you all forget about that? Or did you all ever know about that? So Charlie loses the A.G. race to Hatch, helps Barkley and Ventura fix the bribe of Reform Party candidate Bill Dahn and then gets himself a big job with Ventura and goes from an unemployed to the head of Minnesota Public Safety, Pawlenty Chief of Staff and on to his current position with the business group. Oh well, who ever said honesty pays.. Bye Charlie you sure pulled a cute one. I'm gonna miss you.