GOP Scramble for Dayton Opponent 03 Jun 14

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A 10-week scramble among Republicans to determine Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton’s fall opponent is underway.

The Minnesota GOP will have the first competitive primary for Republicans in a statewide race in two decades. Four contenders had filed to run as of Monday.

Jeff Johnson won the party’s endorsement at a weekend state convention. But three fellow candidates hope to overtake the Hennepin County commissioner. They are: businessman Scott Honour, former House Speaker Kurt Zellers and former Rep. Marty Seifert.

Johnson says he thinks he’ll need to raise and spend $1 million to be successful on Aug. 12.

This year is shaping up as more wide open than the party’s 1994 primary, when incumbent GOP Gov. Arne Carlson dispatched with a challenger from his right.