Four Republican Candidates for Minn. Governor Face Off On Air

Updated: 07/31/2014 10:55 PM
Created: 07/31/2014 5:31 PM

The four Republican candidates for Minnesota governor faced off live on air on Thursday.

Marty Seifert, Scott Honour, Kurt Zellers and Jeff Johnson debated on WDSM's "Sound Off! With Brad Bennett" on 710 AM from 9 to 11 a.m. The debate took place in the Midwest Communications studio in Duluth.

Bennett asked the candidates how they would cut taxes and what they would do in the case of a budget shortfall.

"I wouldn't have raised taxes," Seifert said. "I would have downsized government, particularly reform of entitlement programs, consolidation of cabinet departments, reformulation of our welfare programs."

Seifert said he would institute things like work requirements and waiting periods for welfare.

Honour said he would start by making sure the right leadership was in place.

"We will reduce taxes, we'll simplify the tax code and we will reduce spending in this state in a significant way to get more money in the hands of Minnesotans," Honour said.

Republican-endorsed Jeff Johnson said the entire system needs to be addressed.

"It might take a couple of years to do it right," he said, "but you need to look at the income tax, the corporate tax, sales tax, property tax, and we need to become more competitive across the board. And for me, that means lower, broader and simpler."

Zellers said the number-one request he's heard from small business owners is to repeal the automatic inflator on their property taxes.

"We don't have an automatic inflator on our business income every year, but yet the government gets that constant increase," Zellers said. "It's already written in."

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