By T.W. Budig
ECM Capitol Reporter
Sen. Karin Housley is thinking about it. She will make the decision by early next year, she said, whether she intends to run for governor.
“I thought my family would put the kibosh on it right way, and they haven’t,” Housley, first-term Republican from St. Mary’s Point, said, laughing.
A businesswoman and radio personality, Housley would join businessman Scott Honour, state Sen. Dave Thompson, state Rep. Kurt Zellers, and former Rep. Marty Seifert in the Republican gubernatorial scramble, if she gets in. Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, has been seen as another possible Republican contender, but she hasn’t yet entered the race.
Housley, 49, a mother of four, married to former National Hockey League player Phil Housley, said she did not run for Senate in 2012 with an eye toward the Governor’s Office. Exactly the opposite, she had no interest at all, Housley said.
Even short months ago, if asked about running for governor, she would have said the same thing, she noted.
But over past weeks she has received encouragement from fellow Republicans, Housley said, to run for governor.
Besides concerns about finding adequate campaign funds and the difficulties of running a statewide campaign, Housley views Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton a strong opponent for her or any other Republican challenger. Indeed, she considers the run for a Republican “an uphill battle,” given the name recognition Dayton enjoys in Minnesota.
“It can be done,” she said of defeating Dayton.
Housley serves on the Senate Commerce, E-12, and State and Local Government committees. She won election in Senate District 39 by winning 50.62 percent, or by 631 votes.
Housley holds a B.A. in communications from State University of New York.
Tim Budig is at [email protected].