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St. Paul mayor opens governor run

ST. PAUL — More than a dozen Minnesotans may run for the open governor’s seat in 2018, but so far the race in the Democratic field is all St. Paul.

St. Paul’s longtime mayor Chris Coleman entered the gubernatorial race Tuesday, joining St. Paul state Rep. Erin Murphy. Both are seeking to succeed Gov. Mark Dayton, a fellow Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party member who is not running again.

“I have already spoken to residents from towns across Minnesota — including many of you,” Coleman said in a prepared statement. “Our communities share many of the same goals and have the same hope for vibrant economies and a strong future for our children. In the coming months, I want to explore my ideas with you, and hear yours. I intend to be a bold leader as we work to ensure Minnesota becomes an even better state in which to live, work and raise a family.”

Coleman had been exploring such a run for months before making it official on Tuesday morning. He had traveled to parades, protests and local meetings around the state and recently announced that he would not seek a fourth term as St. Paul’s mayor.

Both St. Paul candidates will try to win DFL support at a time when the party is grappling with divides between urban and rural Minnesota. Coleman stressed commonalities between St. Paul and Greater Minnesota cities on Tuesday, while Republicans claimed he was out of touch with Greater Minnesota.

“People are worried about their jobs and their future,” Coleman said Tuesday. “If you look at the work we’ve done in St. Paul … I think that will resonate with people across the state of Minnesota.”

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