With Seifert set to announce, here is a list of contenders cribbed from a PiPress article this AM. I'll be adding my own comments in as the day progresses. Anyone missing?!? Check back for updates.
GOP - Probably In
PAT ANDERSON (ed - OK, not officially in, but how could she NOT run!)
The former state auditor said Tuesday she is interested in running. Anderson, 42, was Eagan mayor and headed the state's Department of Employee Relations under Pawlenty before it was eliminated. "I will make up my mind in the next month or two," she said.
The House minority leader from Marshall is in his seventh term and knows his way around the halls of the Capitol. Seifert, 37, has scheduled an 11 a.m. news conference today and is rumored to be relinquishing his leadership post. Asked whether he would explore a run for governor, Seifert said: "I'm interested."
The 57-year-old assistant minority leader from Eden Prairie is in his second state Senate term and said Tuesday he would decide by the end of the week if he is running. He is an ardent fiscal conservative and advocate of education reform. "I've been encouraged to think about this by a number of people, and I am thinking about it," Hann said.
GOP - Maybe
The 63-year-old moderate ex-congressman might have trouble getting the nomination, but he could make an end run around the party process and put his name in the ring for the primary election. He sounded Tuesday like a man who isn't ruling out a run for governor. "Today is not the day to discuss my future plans. It's a day to praise and thank our great governor for outstanding leadership during these challenging times," he said.
The 59-year-old former St. Paul mayor and U.S. senator has made one run for governor, only to lose to Jesse Ventura. He is still locked in an election recount and court challenge, but one nearing an end. A spokesman did not respond to inquiries about whether he'd be interested in running for governor should the Minnesota Supreme Court rule against him.
The wealthy, conservative party insider lost the endorse-ment to Pawlenty in 2002. His fortune, from building the maker of PUR water filters, gives him an advantage in a race. Sullivan, 47, couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday.
The executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership is a longtime friend of Pawlenty's, as well as his former chief of staff. At 51 years old, Weaver has also been a prosecutor, served as commissioner of the Department of Public Safety and was a member of the House for 10 years. "It is certainly something that I would consider," Weaver said.
The 45-year-old two-term state senator from Edina was rumored Tuesday to be weighing a run. He is fiscally conservative, having joined an effort during the last legislative session to freeze state pay, but socially moderate and co-sponsored a recent medical marijuana bill that passed the Legislature. He could not be reached Tuesday.
One of the Republicans' young voices, the 35-year-old from Victoria is in his fourth term. A frequent speechmaker who champions conservative principles, he said Tuesday he'd give himself some time to weigh a run.
At 37, the fourth-term representative from New Prague is another young conservative voice. Her floor speeches on taxes, abortion and elections are augmented by frequent "tweets" from her Twitter account, and she has traveled the state on behalf of the party. She sidestepped questions Tuesday about whether she would run.
The 48-year-old third-term House member from Delano is known as much for his policy rants on the House floor as for his conservative principles. When reached Tuesday, Emmer said he wasn't closing the door but didn't sound interested.
GOP - Probably Out
Bachmann, 53, of Stillwater, would be a dream for the conservative base and columnists who delight in her sometimes fact-challenged flights of TV punditry. A fierce campaigner, the congresswoman could be a contender for the GOP nomination, but chief of staff Michelle Marston said Tuesday that Bachmann wasn't interested. "She's happy representing the people of the 6th District," Marston said.