Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton won the Democratic primary nomination on Tuesday by a narrow margin. The Democratic Party’s pick had previously served one term from 2001 to 2006 as a Minnesota senator.
Dayton’s candidacy has made a point of proposing income tax increases and preserving public programs. While campaigning in July, the candidate responded to a military veteran that he would not support further tax cuts for veterans.
“With the state facing a $6 billion deficit, I could not support an additional tax cut, (beyond the $750 tax credit veterans with 20 years military service or with a disability received in 2009),” said Dayton in a statement.
Dayton won the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) primary with 182,506 votes, or 41 percent, while his opponent Margaret Anderson Kelliher had 175,674 votes or 40 percent. Although his opponent enjoyed DFL endorsement, Dayton claimed victory by approximately 6,800 votes.
“I just spoke with Mark Dayton and congratulated him on winning the DFL primary. I offered him my full support,” said Kelliher in a statement on Wednesday.
In this November’s gubernatorial election, Dayton will be running against Republican candidate Tom Emmer and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner, who won their respective primaries by wide margins also held Tuesday. The victor will replace current governor Tim Pawlenty, who chose not to run for another term.