Former state House Speaker Paul Thissen announced yesterday that he is dropping his bid for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. The move means five candidates are left in the field, led by US Rep. Tim Walz (D-Mankato), state Auditor Rebecca Otto, and former St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. Local Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, the 2014 Republican nominee, appears to be the GOP early leader, but that could quickly change if former Gov. Tim Pawlenty decides to enter this race. As previously reported, Mr. Pawlenty is holding meetings to assess his chances in a new statewide race. The former Governor and short-term presidential candidate served as Minnesota’s chief executive from 2003-2011.
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