Ingebrigtsen considering run for governor

State Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, says he’s considering a run for governor. Ingebrigtsen, who was first elected to the Senate in 2006, says he’s willing to work with lawmakers from both parties. He said that approach would make him a solid candidate.

“I’m certainly not as conservative as some of the folks who are running right now but I’m certainly not as liberal as Gov. Dayton,” Ingebrigtsen said.

Like most Republicans, Ingebrigtsen says he’s concerned about the direction of the state under DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and the DFL-controlled Legislature. He also has a background that could appeal to some Republican delegates. He represents rural Minnesota and served as a Douglas County Sheriff from 1991-2007.

Throughout his interview with MPR News, Ingrebrigtsen stressed that he’s an average citizen who lives on a public pension and his state Senate salary. But he said his background in the Legislature and as a county sheriff make him qualified to be governor.

“I’m not a multimillionaire but I’ve run a $5 million, 100 employee office before I came to the Senate,” he said.

Ingebrigtsen said he’ll make a final decision on whether to run in the next six weeks.

If he jumps in, he’d join a growing field of Republicans interested in the position. Orono-based businessman Scott Honour, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, state Rep. Kurt Zellers of Maple Grove and state Sen. Dave Thompson of Lakeville are already in the race.

Former Minnesota House Minority Leader Marty Seifert and state Sen. Julie Rosen, both Republicans, also are considering gubernatorial campaigns.

GOP Senate Minority Leader David Hann of Eden Prairie has also been thinking about running for governor. He said he would announce his intentions by the end of the week.

Gov. Dayton says he’s running for reelection.