Updates from the Government Relations team are sent periodically during the legislative session
Legislative Update: Candidate filings

Filing for federal or state office in Minnesota is officially closed as of yesterday at 5:00 p.m., but not without some surprises. Last weekend, both political parties held conventions to endorse candidates for statewide office. However, multiple candidates who do not have the party endorsement are still seeking the support of voters of their respective parties in the primary, which will take place on August 14. Candidates currently filed for office have 48 hours to withdraw their name. The primary will determine which candidate will appear on the November ballot. Below is a summary of candidates who filed for statewide constitutional offices.
Governor - Lieutenant Governor (DFL)
Three tickets of well-known members of the Democratic-Farmer Labor Party have filed to run for Governor and Lieutenant Governor.
  • Rep. Erin Murphy & Rep. Erin Maye Quade (DFL-endorsed)
  • Congressman Tim Walz & Rep. Peggy Flanagan
  • Attorney General Lori Swanson & Congressman Rick Nolan

Swanson's surprise decision earlier this week to run for Governor instead of seeking re-election has created an open seat for Attorney General, the first time the office hasn't had an incumbent seeking re-election since 2006.
Governor - Lieutenant Governor (Republican)
Two tickets featuring members of the Republican Party have filed to run for Governor and Lieutenant Governor.
  • Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson & retired Lieutenant Colonel Donna Bergstrom (Republican-endorsed)
  • Former Governor Tim Pawlenty & Lieutenant Governor Michelle Fischbach
Secretary of State (DFL)
Incumbent Secretary of State Steve Simon is unopposed in the primary as he seeks re-election to a second term.
Secretary of State (Republican)
Former State Sen. John Howe is the Republican-endorsed candidate to challenge incumbent Democratic Secretary of State Steve Simon.
State Auditor (DFL)
Two candidates filed to run to receive the DFL nomination for State Auditor to succeed incumbent State Auditor Rebecca Otto, who is not seeking a fourth term.
  • Julie Blaha (DFL-endorsed)
  • Jon Tollefson 
State Auditor (Republican)
Former state Rep. Pam Myhra was unanimously endorsed by the Republican Party of Minnesota to run for State Auditor and faces no competition in the primary.
Attorney General (DFL)
Six major candidates have filed to run to succeed Attorney General Lori Swanson, who announced she is running for Governor.
  • Matt Pelikan (DFL-endorsed)
  • Congressman Keith Ellison 
  • Former Attorney General Mike Hatch
  • State Rep. Deb Hilstrom
  • Former Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman
  • Former Ramsey County Attorney Tom Foley

With Ellison's decision to run for Attorney General, his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives will be open. Current legislators who have filed for Ellison's seat in Congress (District 5) include State Sen. Patricia Torres Ray, State Sen. Bobby Joe Champion, and State Rep. Ilhan Omar. Other Democrats that have filed include Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Julie Sabo, Kim Ellison, Frank Nelson Drake and Jamal Abdi Abdulahi.
Attorney General (Republican)
Three candidates have filed to run for Attorney General in the Republican Party.
  • Former State Rep. Doug Wardlow (Republican-endorsed)
  • Former State Sen. Robert Lessard
  • Sharon Anderson

Important Links:
  • Most recent bill introductions related to higher education (compiled by Government Relations team) can be found HERE (updated May 20, 2018)
  • Committee schedules can be found HERE
  • Many committee hearings and floor sessions are streamed live via the web or broadcast on television. More information and a schedule can be found HERE
Government Relations team:
Jaime Simonsen –  Jaime.Simonsen@MinnState,edu
Bernie Omann –  Bernie.Omann@MinnState,edu
Jim Grathwol – J im.Grathwol@MinnState.edu
Melissa Fahning - Melissa.Fahning@MinnState.edu
Tina Firkus - T ina.Firkus@MinnState.edu