Finally! First Republican officially announces run for governor


We finally have a Republican brave enough to step forward and announce that they think they are ready to take Gov. Tim Pawlenty's spot. Pawlenty announced last week that he won't seek a third term in 2010 so now Republicans should start lining up for the big race.

Former state Rep. Bill Haas of Champlin said today he will officially run in the gubernatorial race.

More from the Pioneer Press:

A former Champlin mayor who served in the House from 1994 through 2004, Haas, 60, owns an employee benefits company that serves small businesses across the state. He also is a part-time lobbyist for the White Earth Tribal Nation, helping the impoverished band with economic development projects.

Haas said he's running because he understands the challenges of small businesses and their employees. He said "jobs and economic development" would be the centerpiece of his campaign.

"We need to turn this state's economy around," he said.