Why do you
appeal to voters?
I offer a unique blend of life experience ranging from growing up on a farm to being a public school teacher, to running a small business, to working at a hospital, to serving in the House of Representatives. These will allow me to apply real life common-sense experiences to the governor's office.
What did you learn in your last campaign for governor that you've done differently this time around?
From the day we kicked off our campaign last November, we have been determined to give all Minnesotans a voice in who their governor is, not just the state delegates elected to the convention. This means traveling the state, producing a plan, meeting voters in all 87 counties and doing a lot of listening to win the primary.
Other GOP candidates have more funds that you. How important is money in a campaign?
If money was the main determinant in who our state's leaders are, Matt Entenza would be governor, Wheelock Whitney would be governor, Paul Wellstone would never have become a U.S. senator, Ventura would never have been governor. Minnesotans are unique from all states in the nation - they pay attention to candidate quality over big money.
We are running our campaign plan not by hoarding money so our finance plan looks good on paper, but rather by delivering a plan that executes a victory on August 12 through very targeted channels.
With fewer resources than your competitors, why tour all 87 counties in the state?
I think it's extremely important to reach out to every Minnesotan regardless of where they live. All Minnesotans deserve to see their candidates and to see their governor. It's not just about running TV ads or Facebook messages from the Twin Cities, we need a candidate who works hard and will put in the miles to listen to all Minnesotans. I'm the only candidate for governor who has traveled to every county in this election.
What is the No. 1 problem facing Minnesotans heading into 2015, and what do you plan to do to fix it?
The lack of leadership from the governor's office. I intend to fix that by replacing Mark Dayton.
What will you do if you don't become governor and return to the private sector?
Run my small business.
Whether it's the Democrats or the Republicans in charge, can single-party leadership work in St. Paul?
We will have divided government if I am elected because the Senate is not up for re-election this year and will remain in DFL control, but yes, I believe I can provide unique leadership regardless of how the parties in the Legislature are aligned. I have good working relationships with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and am uniquely qualified in this regard.
You've played it close to the vest when disclosing whether or not you will abide by the party endorsement. Why?
Throughout the campaign, I wanted to keep my options open and it was clear two candidates were going to the primary regardless. I received immense support from across the state to continue my bid for governor after the convention and that's what we did.
What's your position on medical marijuana?
Should I be elected governor, I must make the current law work and do not intend to expand the law to include smokable marijuana during my term.
As governor, how would you foster an environment of compromise in an arena where debate often turns into discord?
I believe history proves I am uniquely qualified to leverage personal relationships in order to make sure government works for the people. Nobody wants dysfunctional government or shutdowns. When I headed the House GOP for three sessions, we never once had a government shutdown even though we had divided government.