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GOP's top office hopefuls call for change

Dan Severson, GOP secretary of state candidate, looks on as Randy Gilbert, GOP state auditor hopeful, answers a question Friday afternoon in the Mainstreeter Room at the St. James Hotel as part of a roundtable discussion. GOP gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson also participated in the discussion. (Republican Eagle photo by John R. Russett)

Randy Gilbert, GOP candidate for state auditor, said Friday that voters should look at the upcoming elections as a job interview, not an election.

Gilbert joined Jeff Johnson, GOP gubernatorial candidate, and Dan Severson, GOP secretary of state candidate, at the St. James Hotel Friday afternoon as part of a roundtable to discuss tax policy and business issues facing Minnesota voters.

Gilbert touted his background in accounting and time spent as mayor of Long Lake, Minnesota, as key components of his qualification to oversee more than $20 billion in taxpayer funds across the state.

Severson, who previously served in the Minnesota House of Representatives and as a Navy Top Gun fighter pilot, said the first thing he would do in office is audit the voting system in Minnesota.

“Voting makes a difference,” Severson said. “Legitimate voting makes a big difference.”

The Minnesota voting process needs to be cleaned up, he added.

Gilbert said remaining independent in his role as auditor is paramount, something he contends the DFL incumbent Rebecca Otto hasn’t always done.

“You need to maintain independence if you’re going to be working for the people,” he said.

The general consensus of Gilbert, Johnson and Severson, however, was the need for a change in leadership.

“Minnesota has the chance to change the way we’re doing business,” Gilbert said. 

John R. Russett

John Russett is a regional reporter for RiverTown Multimedia, covering a variety of issues facing RiverTown communities. Previously, he worked at the Red Wing Republican Eagle, where he reported on education as well as crime and courts. 

You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnRyanRussett


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