Arne Carlson & Star Tribune bless Tom Horner's credibility


In a swipe at his own party, former Republican Gov. Arne Carlson threw his support behind Independence Party candidate for governor Tom Horner today, calling GOP candidate Tom Emmer, and Democrat Mark Dayton, "too extreme" to seriously tackle the state's economy and government red ink.

That slap in the face comes just a day after the Star Tribune editorial page declared that, "A genuine three-way race is on. Independence Party candidate Tom Horner ranks as a serious contender, and he deserves full consideration."

Insisting that we have a "genuine three-way race" is stretching things a bit. Horner, even in one survey produced by a friend, has never polled remotely within striking distance of Dayton or Emmer.

And good riddance to him, the state GOP said this morning. Carlson's an "Obama supporter" anyway.

Arne Carlson & Star Tribune bless Tom Horner's credibility

But still, the almost-an-endorsement editorial, and Carlson's move, help elevate Horner's profile while Dayton and Emmer take pot shots at each other: The latest go-round has the GOP insisting Dayton's economic plans don't add up, and the Democrats point out that Emmer won't even admit the state faces a budget deficit.

Here's part of Horner's press release:

Carlson said Horner's budget plan is a mix of "realism and redesign" and that Horner is the only candidate in the race who has the vision, plan and capabilities to restore financial integrity to the state.

"If you believe, as I do, that our problems are too large and the other candidates too extreme to be trusted with the future of the state, this election demands we take another path," said Carlson.

And from the Strib on Sunday:

Can he win? Since Aug. 10, Horner's campaign has ramped up dramatically. His fundraising tally has jumped 45 percent in the past two weeks over the previous two-week period, giving him a greater ability to buy ads on TV. That's an impressive early showing for a third-party candidate.

Whether he can rise above the din of two-party politics and siphon away moderate votes, and capture people's imaginations in the same way as Jesse Ventura, the last successful independent candidate for governor, remains to be seen.

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