April 5 (UPI) — Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced Thursday he will seek to be elected for a third term in office.
The Republican declared his candidacy in a video shared to his official Twitter account promising a “better way forward” with a focus on education funding, the opioid crisis and reforming healthcare.
“My campaign for governor will focus on charting a better way forward for Minnesota families who see healthcare premiums skyrocketing, paychecks not increasing very fast, college costs and student debt rising — all while government spending and taxes climb through the roof,” Pawlenty said on his campaign website. “Minnesota deserves better and we need to hold government more accountable. I have the strength and experience to solve problems and bring Minnesotans together.”
Pawlenty served two consecutive terms as Minnesota governor from Jan. 6, 2003, until Jan. 3, 2011, and unsuccessfully placed a bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
During Pawlenty’s time as governor Minnesota moved out of the top 10 highest taxed states in the nation and ranked among the lowest in the nation in rate of government spending growth.
The state also experienced two recessions, budget issues and a deadly bridge collapse.
Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Chairman Ken Martin accused Pawlenty of depriving Minnesotans of healthcare during his time in office.
“From healthcare to education to infrastructure, Pawlenty failed our state,” Martin said. “We need an honest leader who will fight to build a better Minnesota — not a Wall Street lobbyist who cares more about the wealthy than everyday families.
Since 2012 he has served as CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group for Wall Street banks.
Pawlenty hasn’t stated whether he will run for the Republican Party endorsement at its convention in June or enter the August primary directly.
He denounced President Donald Trump after audio recording of him talking about groping women was released in October 2016, calling the Trump “unsound, uninformed, unhinged and unfit to be president of the United States.”
Putting Minnesotans in the middle first is a better way forward https://t.co/U0oGGFUmms pic.twitter.com/fe0sEY7i6j- Tim Pawlenty (@TimPawlenty) April 5, 2018