John Kriesel for governor? "I would never rule out a run," he says

Moderates generally like Kriesel, but is he conservative enough to run under the MNGOP banner?
Moderates generally like Kriesel, but is he conservative enough to run under the MNGOP banner?

The most recent polling suggests Mark Dayton should safely win reelection in 2014... but it didn't consider the possibility that decorated war hero and retiring Minnesota Rep. John Kriesel might make a run for Dayton's job.

SEE ALSO: John Kriesel, pro-gay marriage MNGOP Rep., won't seek reelection [VIDEO]

On Friday, Kriesel fueled speculation he might enter the race by posting a "Kriesel for Governor" graphic on Facebook, along with the question: "What do you think?"

Many of the most than 100 comments on the photo express excitement about the idea, but Kriesel faces a stiff challenge if he does decide to challenge Dayton -- namely, convincing his fellow MNGOPers he's conservative enough.

During his one-term tenure as a legislator, Kriesel generated waves by strongly supporting gay marriage and the Vikings stadium. His unorthodox positions have fueled social media-driven Republican-on-Republican spats with Minnesota for Marriage's Andy Parrish, stadium opponent Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, and former MNGOP Senate staffer Bob Koss.

In fact, one of the more humorous comments on Kriesel's Friday Facebook post came from Parrish, who said: "Dayton will be difficult for you to beat in a primary, but it can be done."

Real Capitol View got in touch with Kriesel over the weekend in hopes of gauging how serious he is about running for governor in 2014. Here's what he said:

"I would never rule out a run for governor, and the encouragement and support that I've received has been flattering, but I absolutely love my new job working for Anoka County Veterans Services and I've enjoyed being able to spend more time with my wife and sons now that I'm out of politics," said Kriesel.

He added, "I chose not to seek relection [sic] to the Minnesota House of Representatives so I could spend more time with my family. A 2014 gubernatorial run would take away from that."

In other words, yes, he's thinking about it.

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