Lakeville Sen. Dave Thompson considers run for governor

Thompson: ‘Minnesota is hungry for leadership’

Minnesota state Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, told Sun Thisweek he is

Minnesota State Sen. Dave Thompson with wife Rhonda and children Amanda and Phil, both students at Lakeville South High School. photo submitted
Minnesota State Sen. Dave Thompson with wife Rhonda and children Amanda, a graduate of Lakeville South High School and Phil, a Lakeville South High School junior. Photo submitted

seriously considering running for governor and will make a decision about whether to mount a campaign within the next several weeks.

“I am giving it consideration,” Thompson said. “It seems as though some doors have opened, and I am exploring my options.”

Thompson, assistant Senate minority leader, said he has been encouraged to challenge DFL Gov. Mark Dayton in 2014 by many business leaders and constituents.

“I have talked to my family about it,” Thompson said. “I am serious, but I’m not ready to make a decision yet.”

Thompson has been a rising star in Republican leadership since winning the Senate seat vacated by Sen. Pat Pariseau, R-Farmington, in 2010 with 63 percent of the vote. The former conservative radio talk show host was re-elected in District 58 in 2012.

A married father of two, Thompson said education would be a top priority in a potential campaign for governor.

“We have a significant gap in the quality of education available depending on the location you are in,” he said. “I’d like to correct that.”

Thompson said the state also needs to create an environment that would encourage the economy to grow.

“I believe Minnesota is hungry for leadership right now,” Thompson said, noting the cold reception Dayton’s budget proposal received and how quickly Dayton backed away from it because of the backlash.

Thompson said he would make an announcement about whether to seek the state’s highest elective office soon after the legislative session ends.

“I have to conclude that it is the right thing for my family and for me, and that I believe I’ve got a broad enough base of support that there’s a realistic path to victory,” Thompson said.