Bob Lessard, a former state Senator who is best known for pushing hunting and fishing issues, has backed Democrat Mark Dayton’s campaign for governor. Lessard, who served in the Minnesota Senate as a member of the DFL and the Independence Parties, said Dayton is the candidate who will best represent sportsmen’s issues. The endorsement matters since Lessard backed Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty and Republican Senator Norm Coleman in past elections.
Here’s part of the news release:
“Mark Dayton has made the strongest commitment to hunters and anglers that I have seen from any gubernatorial candidate in my political career. Endorsing Mark is a matter of integrity. In the past, I’ve endorsed some Republicans because they were on the right side of the issues that matter to me and the issues that matter to sportsmen and sportswomen. In this race, Mark Dayton is on the right side of those issues-he supported the Legacy Amendment from Day One. I support Mark because he supports sportsmen and sportswomen. With him, hunters, anglers, and conservationists will have a friend in the Governor’s office.”
Dayton, a hunter and angler himself, said: “I am honored to receive Bob’s endorsement. Bob has done so much for sportsmen and sportswomen in our state, and I look forward to working with him to ensure a better Minnesota for sportsmen, sportswomen, and future generations.”
Senator Lessard has previously endorsed Governor Pawlenty and Senator Coleman, and chaired the Sportsmen for Bush campaign. Senators Lessard and Coleman campaigned together for the Legacy Amendment. This time, however, Senator Lessard does not support the Republican candidate.
“Representative Emmer opposed the Legacy Amendment, which I can understand. However, after the amendment was overwhelmingly passed, Emmer authored legislation to repeal what the voters had just voted for. Emmer claimed to change his position on the amendment when it was politically expedient after he was endorsed. It is crucial that the sportsmen and the sportswomen of this state understand that. It would be hypocritical of me to endorse a man that has worked to undo the most important legislative victory that sportsmen and sportswomen have achieved in a generation,” Senator Lessard added.