GOP Candidate Picks Running Mate, Will Others Soon Follow?

Updated: 01/31/2014 10:40 AM By: Tom Hauser

GOP Sen. Dave Thompson is the first candidate for Minnesota governor out of the chute with a lieutenant governor running mate.

On Wednesday, Thompson announced fellow Senator Michelle Benson of Ham Lake will run with him.

"In a Thompson administration, Michelle is going to be a huge part of helping to develop our health care policy," Thompson said at a State Capitol news conference.

Gov. Mark Dayton hasn't named a replacement for Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon, who announced earlier this month she won't run again. 

So just how important is the running mate selection for any candidate for governor? Not very, according to Larry Jacobs, a political science professor at the University of Minnesota.

"Lieutenant governor is not a big factor either in policy making during governing time or in election time," Jacobs said.

Other candidates have not revealed timetables for selecting their running mates.