Former State Sen. John Howe of Red Wing is running to be the GOP candidate for Secretary of State.
Howe announced his campaign just a day after Dennis Nguyen withdrew from the race.
Howe said his background as a businessman and a mayor has prepared him for the job.
“I’ve personally had to go through the business filings,” he said referring to one of the functions the Secretary of State’s office performs.
Howe also worked with the Secretary of State’s office on a compromise over a controversial constitutional amendment that would have required people to show identification at the polls. He added that he would support allowing online voter registration as long as the Legislature approves the change.
Howe added that he had initially been thinking about the post before Nguyen announced his candidacy last fall, but decided not to run after speaking with party insiders about Nguyen’s candidacy. Recently, the City Pages reported that Nguyen frequents strip clubs.
DFL Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is not running for re-election.
Two candidates are competing for the DFL endorsement. State Reps. Steve Simon of Hopkins and Deb Hilstrom of Brooklyn Center want the job.