BLAINE, Minn. (AP) — Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson has bested his GOP rivals in a party straw poll for Minnesota governor.
Johnson finished atop a crowded candidate field, with a write-in candidate placing third Saturday at the GOP's State Central Committee meeting. The straw poll winner hasn't always gone on to be the nominee, but it can be a boost in fundraising and volunteer support. The nominee will face Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton.
Johnson and state Sen. Dave Thompson have pledged to drop out if someone else is endorsed next year. Thompson came in second, followed by the write-in campaign for former state Rep. Marty Seifert. Teacher Rob Farnsworth was fourth.
Businessman Scott Honour and former House Speaker Kurt Zellers finished in the bottom two. Both are eyeing primary campaigns next summer.