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GOP gubernatorial candidates here Tuesday

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News Bemidji,Minnesota 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
GOP gubernatorial candidates here Tuesday
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

A party forum for Republican candidates for governor is slated Tuesday evening at Bemidji State University.

"The stakes could hardly be higher in the 2010 governor's race in Minnesota. That's why it is of immense importance who we chose as our Republican candidate for governor," states the Beltrami County Republicans Web site.

"For the first time in memory, all six Republican candidates for governor plan to be participate in a forum in Bemidji," it said, without naming the candidates.

GOP candidates for governor include Rep. Marty Seifert of Marshall, real estate buyer and former 8th District U.S. House candidate Phil Herwig of Milaca, Sen. David Hann of Eden Prairie, former Rep. Bill Haas of Champlin, Rep. Tom Emmer of Delano and frequent candidate and Earth Protectors founder Leslie Davis of Minneapolis.

Former State Auditor Pat Anderson had committed to the Bemidji forum, but has since dropped out of the governor's race to pursue her old post, which DFLer Rebecca Otto won in 2006.

GOP activist and 2009 Minneapolis mayoral candidate Bob Carney has also stated his intentions to run for the Republican endorsement for governor.

"The stakes could hardly be higher in the 2010 governor's race in Minnesota," states the Beltrami GOP Web site. "Will our state become a free enterprise magnet for jobs and quality of life? Or will it fall into a bankrupt welfare state like California? Without a doubt, it is of immense importance who we chose as our Republican candidate for governor."

Candidates at the forum will be lined up as a panel, with moderators at the center. For 80 minutes questions from the moderators will be asked of each candidate. For 15 minutes, questions may be asked from the audience and directed to one candidate. The final 15 to 20 minutes will used for closing statements.

Moderators are Beltrami County Republican Chairman Ken Cobb and Aly Gunstrom of the BSU College Republicans, which is hosting the forum.

There won't be a straw poll taken, as that will occur during the Feb. 2 precinct caucuses.

While the event is free, voluntary donations will be asked and will benefit the two local GOP units. Those donating at least $30 can receive a Tea Party DVD, for $50 a copy of Sarah Palin's book or for $75 both.

Tuesday's forum will be the first of two slated for this week. The Red Lake Political Education Committee is hosting a bipartisan governor's candidate forum at the new Seven Clans Red Lake Casino on Saturday afternoon.