(KMSP) - The GOP is moving away from the days of the past as Jeff Johnson defeated former Governor Tim Pawlenty in the GOP primary race for governor.
Johnson, the Hennepin County Commissioner was the GOP-endorsed candidate. Before serving as commissioner, he was a representative in the Minnesota House. Johnson ran against Governor Mark Dayton in 2014 and lost by about six percent.
Pawlenty served as Governor of Minnesota for two terms. He also ran for president in 2012.
Johnson released the following statement after his win:
I am honored to represent the Republican Party in the general election this November. I want to thank Tim Pawlenty and his supporters for running a tough race, and I very much look forward to uniting as one starting tonight--together we can not be defeated in November.
I’d especially like to thank my volunteers and supporters who dedicated an amazing amount of time and energy into earning this victory; they were simply awesome.
It’s time for dramatic change in a government that has become arrogant and broken. We will change the culture in St.Paul from that of controlling and directing Minnesotans to actually serving the people who pay our salaries. Minnesotans will have more money in their pockets, and less government bureaucracy in their lives.
The contrast with Tim Walz could not be more stark. His vision for the future is to dramatically grow government, raise taxes, ignore the rule of law, give government control of everyone’s healthcare and further stifle Minnesotans’ pursuit of the American Dream.
My message is not partisan. Regardless of ideology, Minnesotans know that government is not working. We all see the dysfunction at the end of every legislative session, the power of special interests and the string of government failures. And most Minnesotans know that government is wasting too much of our hard-earned money and making too many decisions that we should be making for ourselves.
St. Paul is broken, the status quo has failed everyday hardworking Minnesotans for too long and together we will change that starting in 2019. I can’t wait for the campaign ahead and the contrast of this vision with Tim Walz's and the Democrats.