Mondale backs Kelliher for governor, Quie picks Seifertby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Former Vice-President Walter Mondale is backing DFL candidate Margaret Anderson Kelliher for governor, and former Republican Gov. Al Quie is backing Republican candidate Marty Seifert's campaign.
In a fundraising e-mail to supporters, Vice-President Mondale and former Minnesota Secretary of State Joan Growe wrote that Kelliher is the strongest, most electable candidate in the race.
Quie also made his announcement on Tuesday.
The e-mail also touted Kelliher's experience as Speaker of the Minnesota House and her efforts to override Gov. Pawlenty's veto of a transportation funding package. Both Mondale and Growe are listed as co-chairs of Kelliher's campaign.
Mondale's backing comes just a week and a half before Democrats meet to endorse a candidate for governor. The list of candidates also includes Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, state representatives Paul Thissen and Tom Rukavina and state Sen. John Marty.
Whoever wins party backing will still have to compete in a DFL primary with at least three other candidates.
Former Republican Gov. Al Quie said that he's backing Marty Seifert's campaign for governor despite a disagreement over taxes--a central issue in the campaign. Quie said he's backing Seifert because he has the best ideas to lead the state out of tough economic times.
"The thing that I like most about him is what he's doing and that is laying out his positions on issues on problems that confront us," Quie said. "It's my belief that elections should be used to develop ideas and it's going to take ideas on how we can improve this state because we're in serious difficulty."
Quie said he disagrees with Seifert's opposition to tax increases, but Seifert downplayed the disagreement.
"We have to build a coalition of folks who are Republicans who agree with us on various issues," Seifert said. "I don't agree with my wife on every single issue. She still supports me last time I checked. I can tell you that not every single Republican is going to agree on every single issue but we have to build a strong coalition just like we did in 1978."
Quie served one term as governor between 1979 and 1983. Seifert is seeking the Republican endorsement for governor against fellow state Representative Tom Emmer.
GOP Delegates will meet on April 30, to endorse a candidate and both Emmer and Seifert say they'll quit the race if they don't win party backing.