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Dayton plans campaign stop in Bemidji Thursday

Former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton plans to be in Bemidji on Thursday, one day after kicking off his "87 counties in 87 days" campaign for governor.

Dayton, a Democrat, did not seek re-election to his U.S. Senate post in 2008, and now will run for governor. He has led in recent polls of a 10-candidate field, and Dayton has said he will not abide by the DFL endorsement and will go right to the Sept. 14 primary.

Dayton will hold an open forum 12:30-1:30 p.m. Thursday in the Beaux Arts Ballroom in Hobson Union on the Bemidji State University campus, sponsored by BSU's AFSCME Local 1949.

The statewide AFSCME union, which represents government workers, has already endorsed Dayton's candidacy.

He plans on visiting 10 cities in eight counties over four days this week.