Horner makes bid for governor as IP candidateby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Tom Horner officially kicked off his gubernatorial campaign Tuesday as a member of the Independence Party.
Horner is a former chief of staff to Republican U.S. Sen. Dave Durenberger and a Republican commentator on Minnesota Public Radio. As he made his campaign announcement, he was flanked by Durenberger and former Democratic Rep. Tim Penny.
He said he's running for governor because he's concerned that the DFL and Republican Parties have moved too far from the center.
"The opportunity this year is to win those 30 percent of Republicans, who I believe absolutely will not vote for Tom Emmer, and the 25 to 30 percent of Democrats who are more moderate than what that party is proposing. I can win those two groups," he said.
He said he wants to cut corporate and capital gains taxes, broaden the state sales tax but decrease the rate, and raise cigarette taxes.
"I think we need another increase to the tobacco tax," he said. "There is no good public policy that supports cheap cigarettes."
Horner also said he's willing to support state funds to pay for a new Vikings stadium, would work to provide marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples and would continue to allow public funding of abortions.
Horner is vying for the Independent Party endorsement against Rob Hahn and John Uldrich. Delegates will meet on Saturday to endorse a candidate.