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.

  • Troy

    I simply could not support Dave Thompson as a candidate for Governor. We need people in positions of power who are willing to work across the aisle and work toward consensus, not stick to their own party lines across the board.

    Mr. Thompson has shown his inability to compromise in his approach to both the popular Minnesota Vikings Stadium Solution and the unfortunate Right to Work Legislation. This state has a strong history of union employment.

    Trying to disarm the unions and dismantle public employee pensions (public employees contribute to nearly 10% to their own pension) is not acceptable. Public employees go into government service knowing they won’t make millions, but were promised a solid pension upon retirement. Do we reward public servants by taking away their pensions? It doesn’t make sense that politicians who can’t balance the budget try and take away money from the little person.

    Many constituents who I know have provided Mr. Thompson with their input on both issues, but he only provides a one sided, matter-of-fact conservative perspective in his responses, not seeming to consider different viewpoints by taking constituents’ concerns into account.

    At this point of political standoffs, constituents no longer need extremist leadership within the political landscape. We need a leader at the state level who can be more moderate, seeing from different perspectives and respecting differences on both sides of the aisle on multiple issues. In my view, a person who meets this criteria is John Kriesel.

    Dave Thompson has demonstrated a lack of ability in leadership and should be voted out of office, not elected to a higher position.

  • Love the water

    At the 11th hour Thompson played politics and voted no for the stadium because he was told they had enough votes and voting no would help his reelection. He puts himself before the people he represents. Please find a different republican to take on dayton

    • Jim Guttmann

      I’m not sure why you are characterizing Sen. Thompson’s opposition to the Vikings stadium as “11th hour”. All the way back in April 2011, he was quite open and clear about his opposition to a publicly funded stadium (“Lakeville’s State Senator Calls Potential Vikings Stadium ‘Inconceivable'”, Lakeville Patch, April 14, 2011). I attended Sen. Thompson’s town hall meeting in September 2011, where he again clearly stated that he did not support a Vikings stadium (“State Sen. Thompson Looks Back, Ahead at Lakeville Town Hall”, Lakeville Patch, September 28, 2011). All of this was well before the final stadium votes were taken in May 2012. How is that playing politics at the 11th hour?

  • wageslaveIave

    Love, you’re VERY wrong.

    Thompson led the charge against the stadium. He was never going to vote for it. Never.

    You may be right that Senate Republicans counted votes and let some of their members off the hook, but Thompson is not one of them.

    He doesn’t NEED help in his re-election. He’s in a VERY safe district. There is no beating him (unless he gets “primaried” from the right, which boggles the mind and won’t happen).

    He could run for governor in 2014 without surrendering the four-year seat he gained in 2012.

    I don’t think Thompson could win a general election. He’s the guy who publicly pouted when a THIRD constitutional amendment — Right to Work — was left off the 2012 ballot. And we all know how well the first two Republican amendments worked out.

    But I suspect Thompson could find a toehold in both the “values” and “liberty” wings of his party. For newcomers, that seems to be the party’s shorthand for the “moral” and “libertarian” factions, which intersect in ways not yet fully realized. Clearly, though, the “liberty” crew is in ascendance.

    Thompson’s got this covered. But who else wants in? David Hann? Doubtful. He’d have to actually GOVERN, not toss bombs.

    Julie Rosen of Fremont? Hmm? She gave us a stadium, but is unrelenting in her criticism of the guy she had to work with to actually get something done.

    Hey — that sounds like a recipe for success!

  • Jan Dobson

    Agreeing with a politician—ANY politician—one hundred percent of the time is an unrealistic expectation reserved for brain-dead talking point zealots. What’s important is keeping a big picture perspective of Sen. Thompson’s less government/more individual freedom attitude and monitoring whether or not he remains true to that attitude. I, for one, think the guy’s doing a pretty good job of it.

    • RollieB

      Perfect! Right to form! Love it, Jan!

  • wageslave

    Funny. I thought Thompson WAS a talking point zealot.

    He’s PRECISELY the kind of politician whose admirers are likely to agree with 100 percent of the time, or close to it.

    I suspect you won’t have to “monitor” him too rabidly for ideological compatibility.

    I also suspect he’s not electable as governor. He’s trying to flush out potential nomination rivals to see what he’s up against, and probably checking for which pocketbooks open at his provocation.

    I truly wonder which other Republicans are likely to emerge. It’s early. Thoughts? I still think Julie Rosen (of Fairmont, not “Fremont” — duh) is interesting, but that’s purely speculative; I have no idea if she’s even interested.

    Luck to all!

  • wageslave
  • Love the water

    Thompson doesn’t listen to the residents in his precinct. If he did he would have voted for the stadium. He put his reelection first by voting no so that his opponent couldn’t single out his support for a publicly funded Vikings stadium. There has to be somebody better in the party to run

    • Jan Dobson

      The above comment contradicts itself.

      First sentence: Representative Thompson accused of not listening to constituents.
      Second sentence: Representative Thompson accused of withholding support for a new stadium in order to please a majority of voters.

      So, if Rep. Thompson (in sentence one) never listens to voters, how did he know (in sentence two) that most of them—enough to win an election—didn’t want stadium funding?

      Talking point debaters just can’t seem to stay within the boundaries of simple logic.