Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Coleman out in governor’s race

Marshall Helmberger
Posted 2/14/18

REGIONAL— The field in the DFL race for governor thinned to four on Monday after former St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman announced he was suspending his campaign.

Coleman, who enjoyed some of the …

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Coleman out in governor’s race

Posted

REGIONAL— The field in the DFL race for governor thinned to four on Monday after former St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman announced he was suspending his campaign.

Coleman, who enjoyed some of the highest name recognition among the six DFL candidates, came in fourth in the gubernatorial straw poll conducted during last week’s precinct caucuses.

Coleman’s departure leaves four candidates, including First District Congressman Tim Walz, who took first in last week’s straw poll, second-place finisher and current state Auditor Rebecca Otto, and legislators Erin Murphy and Tina Liebling.

Walz is also leading in the money hunt, according to year-end campaign finance reports filed this week by the campaigns. Walz reports total receipts of $1.1 million, with total expenditures of $627,000 and $488,000 cash remaining. Coleman was second in the money hunt, but it didn’t translate into support from caucus-goers.

Murphy was third, with $377,000 in receipts during the period, and total expenditures of $351,000. Otto was fourth, with receipts of $320,000 and total expenditures of $158,000.

Three candidates remain on the GOP side, including Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, who finished first in the GOP straw poll. Also in the Republican race are Keith Downing and Mary Guiliani Stephens, although former Gov. Tim Pawlenty is now widely expected to enter the Republican race in the near future.

Johnson led the GOP field in fundraising, with $263,000 in receipts and $112,000 in expenditures.

With final caucus numbers now available, the DFL advantage in terms of attendance was better than 3-1. A total of 34,112 DFLers cast ballots in the gubernatorial straw poll, compared to just 10,909 on the GOP side. That’s an all-time low for the state’s Republicans. While not a definitive gauge of election results in the fall, caucus turnout is generally linked with party enthusiasm, which may bode poorly for Republicans in Minnesota in the fall. “Between this strong showing and our record-breaking fundraising numbers, it’s clear our party is heading into this pivotal election year with the energy it needs to create a blue wave across Minnesota,” DFL Party Chair Ken Martin said in a statement.

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