MARSHALL - Marty Seifert, who has been rumored to make another run for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2014, said Thursday he will make his intentions known next week, but all signs point to a bid for the nomination.
Seifert told the Independent in late October it was his desire to wait to publicly announce his decision until sometime before Thanksgiving. MinnPost this week cited sources who said Seifert will, indeed, seek the nomination, although he will neither confirm nor deny he will run in 2014.
The announcement will take place at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in Marshall at city council chambers; he will be in St. Paul later that day.
Seifert, the executive director of the Avera Marshall Foundation, served the House of Representatives in District 21A (now District 16A) from 1997-2010. He is also a former House Minority Leader and Majority Whip. He ran for the GOP nomination for governor in 2010, losing to Tom Emmer, despite polling ahead of current Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton.
As far as his current post with Avera, Seifert said he will remain as part of the Avera team for the time being.
In a straw poll taken at the Minnesota Republican party's state central committee in October, Seifert polled ahead of previously-declared candidates state Rep. Kurt Zellers (18 percent to 7.6 percent) and Hibbing teacher Rob Farnsworth (6 percent) as a write-in candidate. Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson came out on top among the 409 delegates who cast votes with 35 percent, followed by Sen. Dave Thompson at 27 percent.
Seifert said that straw poll was an encouraging sign.
"That has factored heavily into my thinking as I consider what I'm doing next week," he said. "I've gotten encouragement from all over the state, literally - from Roseau to International Falls, to Winona, Luverne and everywhere in-between, and in the metro in terms of, what I think, is overwhelming support."
In 2010, Tom Emmer used a strong metro-area push to overcome Seifert for the GOP nomination, even though Seifert had polled ahead of Emmer in a Channel 5 poll. This time around, however, Seifert believes he would have more success in the metro.
"The most critical part of my consideration are the people who didn't support me last time have said they will now," he said. "I've got quite a few people who said that - that I left the state with class and feel I'm both conservative and electable. I feel very encouraged by the comments people have had. They feel I have the resources and good name ID."
Seifert has said he wouldn't run if he didn't genuinely believe he would have a chance to gain the nomination. He hasn't committed to stay in the race if he doesn't come out on top in the primary.
Seifert's website seifertforgovernor.com has been reserved, he said, and will go live next week.