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Former GOP Senate leader Paul Gazelka announces 2022 bid for governor

Former Senate leader enters GOP field with more than 6 hopefuls


September 9, 2021

Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

Former Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka officially entered the Minnesota governor's race today. He made the announcement in the State Capitol Rotunda. On the left was his wife Maralee.

Former Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka is jumping into the Republican field for Minnesota governor, hoping to parlay his prominence as the lone conservative blockade to Democrats in state government to become the party's nominee next fall.

Gazelka, a four-term senator from East Gull Lake, made his long-anticipated run for governor official on Wednesday surrounded by supporters at the Capitol, where he's served as the Republican caucus leader for the past five years.

During his time in leadership, Gazelka brokered budget deals with Democratic governors and DFL leaders in control of the state House, but he's also been a vocal opponent of tax increases proposed by Democrats. He trained his fire on DFL Gov. Tim Walz and closures of businesses and classrooms during the pandemic and criticized the first-term governor for his response to civil unrest last summer that left businesses destroyed.


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