by Howard Lestrud
ECM Political Editor
The Minnesota Senate’s top Republican leader, Senate Minority Leader David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, has announced that he will not be a candidate for governor in 2014.
Thus far, four Republican candidates have entered the field. They include: Wayzata businessman Scott Honour; Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson; former House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove; and Assistant Senate Minority Leader Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville.
Hann, a candidate for governor in 2010, indicated to ECM Publishers in early June that he would have an announcement later in the month. His announcement in a prepared statement actually came on Friday, July 5.
Hann, in his first year of his fourth term, which ends in 2016, said he relied heavily on advice and counsel from friends and family in making his decision not to seek the governorship.
During the last legislative session, Hann said he gave no consideration of whether or not to be a candidate for governor.
“I wanted to focus on what we were doing during the session before I turned attention to being a candidate or not, thus it took a bit of time,” Hann said.
Hann said he was elected six months ago to serve as the leader of the Republican Senate Caucus and said he looked at the position as an important one his colleagues had asked him to fill.
Part of Hann’s prepared statement speaks to his job as Senate Minority Leader: “That job deserves my full attention. In the next election, our caucus will be helping to win the majority for the House Republicans, and we will continue to work toward regaining the majority for Republicans in the Senate in 2016. I look forward to working with all our Republican candidates in 2014 and will do all I can to support them.”
Hann said he is optimistic that the Republicans will do well in quest of the governor’s seat and in the attempt to regain the majority in the House.
“The public has gotten a taste of DFL rule, and there is cause for concern that could cause change in the next election,” Hann told ECM Publishers.
Hann was a gubernatorial candidate four years ago and said he regarded the experience a good one.
“I learned a lot and made some good friends,” Hann said
As the Senate minority leader, Hann looked at the Democrats’ approach in the past legislative session as being overtaxing, overspending and overreaching. The Legislature approved a $3 billion increase in spending, “and I ask, why did we do that?” Hann said.
“These taxes will hit everybody,” he said. “What is the bang that citizens will get?”
Hann and wife Anne have four children.
Howard Lestrud can be reached at [email protected].