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Editorial: No one deserves endorsing for gov.

Minnesota finds itself with less-than-qualified candidates for governor. Thanks to a party endorsement system and a primary system that encourages candidates on the far ends of the spectrum, the state is left with Republican Tom Emmer and Democrat Mark Dayton.

That makes Independence Party candidate Tom Horner looking like he occupies the center, but Minnesota these next four years doesn’t need another third-party candidate as its chief executive battling against a Legislature without any Independence Party legislators. Frankly, the Independence Party needs more grass-roots candidates winning to gain voter trust at higher levels.

When it comes down to it, we wish the party conventions and primary election had left Minnesota with Republican Marty Seifert and Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher, two moderates who understand rural and urban issues. We would have felt safe endorsing either.

In rural Minnesota, cities, counties and schools struggle with cuts to state aid. It would seem that if people favor keeping Albert Lea with a staffed fire department (not a volunteer one), then Dayton is your candidate.

However, Dayton after the primary election has stayed in much of the metropolitan areas of Minnesota. We even had a difficult time getting him to come to Albert Lea to meet this Editorial Board. This isn’t the kind of candidate who understands Greater Minnesota and issues about attracting companies to disadvantaged places. If a campaign is an example of an administration, we wonder about his leadership skills.

On the other hand, Emmer and Horner came to Albert Lea as part of their tours of rural Minnesota. They displayed the kinds of leadership skills that engage a room and sell ideas. They are likable, too.

However, Minnesota has had eight years with a Republican in the governor’s mansion and the no-new-taxes mantra has resulted in increased property taxes and cuts to roads, law enforcement, courts, schools and many essential services. There must be smarter ways to reduce government waste. Cut fat, maybe even some muscle, but not bone. If you want a volunteer fire department in Albert Lea, vote for Emmer.

As for this Editorial Board, we are not endorsing any of the three.

About Editorial Board

The Editorial Board of the Albert Lea Tribune comprises Scott Schmeltzer, Tim Engstrom and Sarah Stultz.

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