Rep. Marty Seifert, R-Marshall is completing the official paperwork needed to run for governor of Minnesota. Seifert also expected to launch his official Web site, seifertforgovernor.com, Monday or today.
Seifert had recently announced he'd stepped down from his role as the House Minority Leader to consider running for governor. Seifert said then he'd gauge his support in order to make decision.
"I've talked to at least 60 county party chairmen and chairwomen so far," Seifert said Monday. "I was everybody's first or second choice. I was the top choice for over 70 percent of them."
Seifert was also a top choice in an unscientific ballot of attendees at this weekend's Republican State Central Convention which was attended by about 350 to 400 Republicans, he said.
The Minnesota Public Radio Web site said Seifert received 53 of the 144 ballots cast at the Taxpayer League of Minnesota booth at the convention.
"It was sort of a straw poll...," Seifert said. "This was just from a portion of those who attended. It wasn't like they passed out ballots on the floor of the convention."
Still, Seifert said, the convention attracts senior Republicans from throughout the state.
Although Seifert is completing the necessary paperwork, he won't officially announce he is a candidate until July.
"I will probably start or conclude in Marshall. One or the other," Seifert said of his campaign announcement tour.
Seifert has selected former Rep. Jim Knoblach as his campaign chairman.
Seifert has said the Republican State Convention in September will be important in determining if his run for governor continues. Republicans will likely take a straw poll on their choice for governor.
"That's a very key time," Seifert said.
The MPR Web site said Seifert finished ahead of Tom Emmer, who received 18 ballots in the booth vote. Cal Ludeman, who ran for governor in 1986 and is now the commissioner of state human services, received four votes, the same as U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman.