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Moe launches campaign for governor
By Dan Gunderson
Minnesota Public Radio
February 24, 2002
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Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe made it official Sunday. He will seek the DFL endorsement for governor. Moe made the announcement in the gym of the Crookston high school he attended.

With family and about 200 supporters looking on, Roger Moe offered assurances he has not forgotten the values learned growing up in northwest Minnesota. Listen to his announcement.
(MPR Photo/Dan Gunderson)

The announcement lacked suspense, but not enthusiasm. The scene was reminiscent of a high school pep fest. Blue and white Moe for governor banners and strings of American flags decorated the gym as the high school band pumped up the crowd.

With family and about 200 supporters looking on, Roger Moe offered assurances he has not forgotten the values learned growing up in northwest Minnesota.

"I will never forget where I came from. I am from rural Minnesota," he declared.

Moe says this election is about what values will shape the future of Minnesota. Sen. Moe says he's a man of few words, his leadership style is one of unity, not division. He says Minnesotans are ready for an inclusive leader.

"We cannot reach our potential as a state if we waste our energy on endless petty criticisms. We are not well served by politicians who feel that successes must be achieved through negative attacks and constant criticism rather than strong ideals," he said.

While Moe decried "a shrillness" in politics, he refused to level any criticism directly at Gov. Ventura, or any announced candidates for governor.

Senator Moe says despite a sustained economic boom, many parts of rural Minnesota did not prosper over the past decade.

He says redistricting this year will mean fewer rural Minnesotans in state government. Moe says he wants to ensure there is one, not two Minnesota's in the future.

Moe says he is the candidate who best understands the needs of all parts of Minnesota. He says there are many issues that should unite the state.

"Our growing diversity, civil and human rights, gender equity. Recognizing the value and enormous potential if we include all Minnesotans," he said. "Capitalizing on the new economy of technology and trade but never, never abandoning what built this state, our farms, our forests, our mines and our mills."

He promised a greater investment in schools, natural resources, health care and infrastructure. He promised specific proposals in coming weeks.

Roger Moe has served as Minnesota Senate Majority Leader for 22 years. He was first elected to the Legislature in 1970. That run will end next year. Moe says he will not seek re-election to the state Senate. Instead, he will focus all his energy on a run for governor.

He expects a smooth transition of legislative leadership, and says he is not concerned the Senate DFL majority will founder without his leadership.

Moe says his 32 years of public service has prepared him well to be governor.

Moe is the fourth DFLer to enter the 2002 race for governor; hats in the ring include those of state Sen. Becky Lourey, State Auditor Judi Dutcher, and artist Ole Savior.

The party will endorse a candidate at it's convention in early May.

DFL State Party Chair Mike Erlandson says he expects the party to unite behind a single candidate. "We're excited to have another candidate in the race and we're certainly excited all three candidates are abiding by the endorsement process, at least that's what they've said. So we will have a convention in early May and be united I think as we march toward an election in November, instead of marching toward a primary in September," he said.

There are three Republicans vying for party endorsement for governor. State House Majority Leader Tim Pawlenty, businessman Brian Sullivan and accountant Michael Vekich.

Gov. Ventura has not announced his intentions.

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