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Republican Michelle Benson suspends campaign for Minnesota governor

The announcement came weeks before the Minnesota Republican Party state convention in Rochester.

Minnesota Sen. Michelle Benson
State Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, spoke to reporters at the Capitol about the GOP "Parents Bill of Rights" regarding access to educational materials.
Dana Ferguson / Forum News Service
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ST. PAUL — Republican gubernatorial hopeful Michelle Benson, the only woman running for the Minnesota GOP endorsement, on Friday, April 29, announced that she would suspend her campaign.

In a news release, the Ham Lake state senator said she decided to end her bid in an effort to unite the Republican field behind a single candidate weeks ahead of the Minnesota GOP state convention May 13 and 14 in Rochester. The news comes after Benson trailed Republican challengers in recent polling.

“Our grassroots campaign started a little over a year ago with the support of conservatives in every corner of Minnesota," Benson said. "I’m beyond grateful for your efforts to create a place we are proud to call home and look forward to working together in the future."

Benson said she hoped to work with the broad field of remaining candidates to help unseat Democrat and first-term Gov. Tim Walz in November. And she said she would work with delegates at the convention to "select the right choice."

Republican candidates Scott Jensen, Paul Gazelka, Mike Murphy, Neil Shah, Kendall Qualls, Rich Stanek, Scott Magie and Bob Carney Jr. will seek the party's endorsement in May.



Follow Dana Ferguson on Twitter  @bydanaferguson , call 651-290-0707 or email

Dana Ferguson is a Minnesota Capitol Correspondent for Forum News Service. Ferguson has covered state government and political stories since she joined the news service in 2018, reporting on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the divided Statehouse and the 2020 election.
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