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Minnesota State Sen. Michelle Benson launches campaign for governor

State Sen. Michelle Benson reacts at a news conference on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at the...
State Sen. Michelle Benson reacts at a news conference on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul to a report by the state's legislative auditor on combatting fraud in Minnesota's Child Care Assistance Program. Minnesota's legislative auditor says the Department of Human Services and county agencies must do more to combat fraud in the state's Child Care Assistance Program. In a report Wednesday, the auditor's office finds the department's program integrity controls are insufficient. (AP Photo/Steve Karnowski)(Steve Karnowski | AP)
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 9:05 AM CDT
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Republican State Sen. Michelle Benson, of Ham Lake, has launched her campaign for Minnesota governor, saying she’ll fight efforts to close schools and businesses or defund the police.

She calls herself “an unwavering conservative fighter” in a statement posted on her campaign website. She also posted a YouTube video declaring her candidacy and plans a formal announcement at a machining company in Blaine on Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, GOP Sen. Paul Gazelka, of East Gull Lake, is stepping down as Senate majority leader. It’s a step he has said he would take if he was going to run for governor.

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