RELEASE: Jeff Johnson Calls For Pawlenty To Withdraw


June 5th, 2018

In light of the chaotic last 72 hours for the DFL, Jeff Johnson calls for Tim Pawlenty to leave Governor's race

Plymouth, MN -- Following the radical differences between the GOP and DFL conventions last weekend--and the continuing fall out on the Democrat’s side--Jeff Johnson released the following statement today.

Jeff Johnson Full Statement:

With a united Republican party in the best position to win the governor’s office in many years, it’s time for Tim Pawlenty to do what’s best for Minnesota and the conservative cause and end his primary campaign for governor.

When Tim got in the race, he claimed it was because no other Republican was “catching fire.” This weekend, however, I won the endorsement of the most active and engaged Republicans in Minnesota by acclamation - despite aggressive work by Pawlenty’s team to force a vote of “no endorsement.”

Republicans left our convention on Saturday more energized and united than I have ever seen - even more so than in 2002 when many of us stayed up all night to endorse Tim.

We’ve been presented a unique opportunity and right now have a clearer path to the governorship than we’ve had in decades. The DFL is in complete disarray and grassroots Republicans are united around a candidate who can appeal to every faction of the party, including the new voters Trump brought out in 2016. We can spend the entire summer presenting a united front against the Democrats, or Tim Pawlenty can force a primary, divide the party even further than he already has and greatly weaken our chance of winning in November. If this is really about winning and not about one person, Tim will look at the big picture and step aside.

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  • Amen to that. The GOP convention went as smooth as glass (technical glitches notwithstanding), and Tim P.’s continuing presence only serves to erode the unity that came out of the weekend. A Pawlenty candidacy only helps the DFL. Be a gentleman and bow out, Tim. Phillip and Mary did it with grace and dignity, now Tim should follow their example and do the same.