Dayton calls for higher campaign contribution limit

Gov. Dayton said today that he wants to lift the campaign contribution limits for candidates for statewide office.

Dayton was asked today about his recent fundraising report that showed him having $96,000 in the bank at the end of December. That figure is lower than the amount former Gov. Tim Pawlenty had raised at the same time in 2004.

Dayton said he’d like to see legislation passed that allows politicians to raise more money from individual donors. Candidates for governor are allowed to raise $500 per person in years when they are not on the ballot.

“It’s almost prohibitive in terms of the kind of fundraising necessary for a modern era campaign,” Dayton said.

Dayton said he spoke with Republicans about possibly lifting the limits for all constitutional and legislative offices. Dayton said it’s unlikely that he’ll ramp up his fundraising until the legislative session ends in May.

“After that it’s going to have to be a priority because I intend to run again,” Dayton said.

Dayton spent $3.9 million of his own money to help him win his first term in 2010. He said he’s not certain whether he’ll self-finance his campaign again.

“I really have not thought much about the whole enterprise at this point except that I’m going to do everything possibly legally and ethically to win,” Dayton said.

No Republicans have filed paperwork to challenge Dayton. Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson has said he’s interested in running for governor. Other possible candidates include Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, Rep. Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, and Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie.