This afternoon at a State Capitol news conference Tom Horner’s Independence Party campaign for governor introduced a group of former Republican state lawmakers who are supporting Horner over GOP candidate Tom Emmer.
Thirteen are now publicly behind Horner’s campaign. Former State Sen. George Pillsbury was among those on hand for the news conference. So too was former State Rep. Dave Bishop of Rochester who didn’t have nice things to say about Emmer or DFL candidate Mark Dayton.
“Mark Dayton has succeed in my mind in two things,” Bishop said, “being rated the United States’ worst senator by Time Magazine and in using his money and family name to defeat the DFL endorsed candidate Margaret Kelliher.”
Bishop then said he could not support Emmer, calling Emmer “too far to the right.”
Bishop said he once heard Emmer say something about his mouth sometimes not being connected to his brain. “I don’t think we can trust somebody who represents the right wing of the party and who has his brain sometimes disconnected from his mouth,” Bishop concluded.
At a press conference with former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich, Emmer downplayed the Horner endorsements.
“You’re talking about people that disavowed in some cases even being Republicans,” he said. “Yes, at one time they were Republicans in the state of Minnesota within our party, but some of them actually ran for endorsement as Democrats and have openly supported the current Obama administration.”
The full list of former GOP legislators supporting Horner:
- Peggy Leppik, former state representative, Golden Valley
- Neil Peterson, former mayor and state representative from Bloomington
- George Pillsbury, former state senator, Wayzata, Lake Minnetonka
- Bill Belanger, former state senator, Bloomington
- Dennis Ozment, former state representative, Rosemount
- Roger Scherer, former state representative, Brooklyn Center; current member, Metropolitan Council
- David Jennings, former state representative, Martin and Watonwan Counties
- Ed Oliver, former state senator, Deephaven
- Lynne Osterman, former state representative, New Hope
- Dave Bishop, former state representative, Rochester
- Bill Schreiber, former state representative, Brooklyn Park; former House Minority Leader
- Art Seaberg, former state representative, South St. Paul
- Rod Searle, former state representative, Waseca; former Speaker of the House