Zellers picks Simpson as running mate
By Don Davis
Forum News Service
ST. PAUL -- Former state Rep. Dean Simpson of Perham is Minnesota Republican governor candidate Kurt Zellers' pick as running mate.
Zellers, who made the announcement in Moorhead this morning, said the Perham and New York Mills grocery store owner can help the state's economy.
“Our campaign is about creating jobs and opportunities for all families across Minnesota, and Dean Simpson has dedicated his personal and professional life to that end,” said Zellers, a state representative who served with Simpson. "Our state will be a better place to live and build a business with Dean as its next lieutenant governor."
Simpson, the Zellers campaign chairman, is a former New York Mills mayor. He was elected to the state House in 2002, 2004 and 2006, where he served in taxes and commerce committees.
His wife, Kathy, is a nurse practitioner. They have four adult children and six grandchildren.
So far, all major Republican candidates have named current or former legislators as running mates. All but one governor candidate also has legislative background.
Zellers' announcement came a little more than a week before the Republican state convention in Rochester. The convention's approach has spurred a flurry of GOP governor race activity.
Jeff Johnson on Wednesday announced former state Rep. Bill Kuisle is his lieutenant governor candidate.
The endorsement fight appears to be among Johnson, state Sen. Dave Thompson of Lakeville and former state Rep. Seifert of Marshall. Zellers of Maple Grove and businessman Scott Honour of Orono have said they plan to run in the Aug. 12 primary election, regardless of which candidate earns the party's endorsement on May 31.
Seifert told reporters that he probably will decide whether to take his campaign to the primary just before the convention. Johnson and Thompson have promised to abide by the convention endorsement.