John Gunyou debuts as Margaret Anderson Kelliher's running mate

Gunyou criticized Pawlenty's no-tax mantra
Gunyou criticized Pawlenty's no-tax mantra

Backed by an entourage of family members and fellow politicians, DFL-endorsed Margaret Anderson Kelliher confirmed rumors this afternoon that she has plucked Minnetonka city manager John Gunyou as her running mate in the gubernatorial race.

In introducing him, Kelliher touted Gunyou's record as an experienced money manager, bashing Gov. Tim Pawlenty's approach to balancing the budget.

Gunyou served as finance commissioner under Gov. Arne Carlson in the 90s, where he helped balance a massive budget deficit.

"It's time to close the chapter on the Tim Pawlenty era," Kelliher said at the Capitol press conference.

Gunyou charmed reporters with a few jokes. "I would like to start by answering the question that I suspect many people would like to ask me: 'Why are you doing this?'," began Gunyou. "It's actually a pretty simple answer. When Margaret called and asked me to join her team, it made me realize how important this election is."

Following Kelliher's lead, Gunyou went on to criticize Pawlenty's unwillingness to discuss raising taxes. He also accused Pawlenty of undercutting Minnesota for the sake of his high political ambitions.

Republicans were quick to criticize Kelliher's pick. A statement from the Minnesota GOP:

Margaret Anderson Kelliher and John Gunyou are two deeply irresponsible tax-and-spend liberals who will raise taxes on hard working Minnesota families and businesses at a time when they can least afford it...A Kelliher Gunyou administration would be disastrous for Minnesota's economic future.

A poll released earlier this week indicated Kelliher is trailing former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton in the DFL primary race, though many surveyed were undecided.

When news leaked this morning that Kelliher would pick Gunyou, politicos immediately lauded her choice as one that would appeal to moderate voters.

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