Rep. John Kriesel: 'I Would Never Rule Out a Run for Governor'

While you were eating turkey, visiting with family members, and watching football one post appeared on Facebook that could potentially shake up the 2014 race for the governor’s mansion.

I usually write about technology, but from time to time I dabble in politics and current events. My good friend Steve over at therealcapitolview.com has a breaking story I thought was just too good to not pass along...

On Friday night, retiring State Rep. John Kriesel lit up his large following on Facebook when he posted a photo showing a "Kriesel for Governor" logo.

According to his post, Kriesel received a text message from a friend asking if he was going to run for governor after the friend saw the logo on a different Facebook wall. As of Monday morning the post had 301 “likes” and 114 comments.

Rather than thanking friends for the encouragement or shutting down any speculation immediately, Kriesel ended the post with a simple question: “What do you think?”

When contacted by the Real Capitol View, the Cottage Grove resident wasn’t willing to close the door on running.

“I would never rule out a run for governor, and the encouragement and support that I’ve received has been flattering, but I absolutely love my new job working for Anoka County Veterans Services and I’ve enjoyed being able to spend more time with my wife and sons now that I’m out of politics,” said Kriesel.

He added, “I chose not to seek relection to the Minnesota House of Representatives so I could spend more time with my family. A 2014 gubernatorial run would take away from that.”

Combining the fact that both of his legs were lost after he was attacked in Iraq, along with Kriesel not being your “average” Republican — he passionately advocated against placing the marriage amendment on the ballot and vocally supported the Vikings stadium bill — Kriesel made many headlines over the last two years and received both praise and ridicule from both sides.

Kriesel told the Real Capitol View that a stranger made the logo and posted it to Facebook, and that it was an offer to do the graphic design work if Kriesel were to run. But it is his record of reaching across the aisle, casting aside party labels, and his compelling background story that many of his Facebook followers appeared to be excited about.

Post after post encouraged Kriesel to seriously consider running and the offers to help campaign and to donate money were continuous.

“I’m very liberal but would have to seriously consider you. I’d have to learn your stance on a few key areas, but I just might check the Republican box for the first time in my life,” said Nichole Stafford.”

“If I didn’t like North Dakota so much I’d move to Minnesota just to have you as my governor! You have a good head on your shoulders man,” stated Brandyn Ehlis.

However, Jay Johnson highlighted what would be Kriesel’s first and likely biggest obstacle to run: Gaining the support of a Republican base that heavily favors more right-wing candidates as opposed to moderate ones.

“But do you meet all the litmus tests of your party? I think you are one of the most independently minded persons I have observed. I do not ever recall voting outside of the DFL in the governor’s race, but I could consider you,” wrote Johnson.

It remains to be seen if this was simply fun Facebook banter amongst friends. However, if Kriesel jumps into the race, it would undoubtedly shake up the contest on both sides of the aisle.

Source: Real Capitol View - By Steve Hensley

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