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Minnesota Governor endorses local candidates

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty was in Whitefield over the weekend to endorse local Republican candidates in the upcoming election. Gov. Pawlenty took a minute to chat with State Senator John Gallus of Berlin at the fundraiser hosted by Executive Councilor Ray Burton of Bath. Keisha Luce. (click for larger version)
October 20, 2010
WHITEFIELD — Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty was the featured speaker at a Republican fundraiser hosted by Executive Councilor Ray Burton of District 1 at the Mountain View Grand's Clubhouse last Saturday evening.

Pawlenty's Freedom First Political Action Committee (PAC) gave generous donations to state candidates in hopes to bring "influence in favor of conservatives in the elections this fall," an election year he describes as filled with "active and competitive races."

Republican Gubernatorial candidate, John Stephen, received praise from Pawlenty for his agenda to improve the state's business climate, improve job growth, promote tourism and cut taxes, issues that Pawlenty is known for in his home state. Among his accomplishments is an eight-year run of balancing Minnesota's budget without increasing taxes. Despite Minnesota's traditionally liberal tendencies, Pawlenty, who is a conservative Republican, rates high among voters.

Although he has not officially declared his intent to enter into the Presidential race in 2012, a decision that might come in early January 2011, Pawlenty says he is visiting various states and "assessing the needs of the country", and continued, "If I decide to run, having met new friends in Iowa and New Hampshire is helpful."

For now, Pawlenty is focusing on promoting the candidates favored by his Freedom First PAC including Burton, Stephen, State Senator John Gallus, and the congressional races for Kelly Ayotte and Charlie Bass, among around 25 other Republican hopefuls. Freedom First, he said, was thoughtfully chosen. He explains, "If you think about what makes our country great it's because we are the freest people the world has ever known. America's brilliance is, in part, that we are such a creative, dynamic society and that is a reflection and result of being free. As government continues to encroach into our freedoms…it pushes out the liberty, that freedom… and I think that's the wrong direction for our country. We chose that name, Freedom First, to put that concept of freedom right up front and to remind people of the importance of it."

This resonated with the approximately 75 supporters who attended the event, cheering and applauding Pawlenty. Among the crowd was Karen Kaezerian of Littleton who stated she was "enthusiastic for the experience here tonight" and "optimistic for the political voice here." Joyce Presby seconded this and added "Having the Governor from Minnesota here explaining that they have the same issues in their area as we do here, makes me know we are not alone."

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