by Andy Birkey | June 4, 2009 • Sen. Paul Koering, R-Fort Ripley, told the Pioneer Press he’s thinking about jumping into the race for governor in 2010. Koering, a gay man, opened up about his sexual orientation in 2005 during a bitter debate over a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
|Andy Birkey lives in Minneapolis. He is an LGBT community advocate and blogs on politcial, social, and community issues. Read his blog at Eleventh Avenue South|
Koering said he is “forming an exploratory committee and will be talking to state party leaders, delegates, and community leaders to gauge the possibility of a 2010 gubernatorial run.”
Of the other announced GOP candidate, he told PiPress’ Rachel Stassen-Berger that, “I’d don’t [sic] think they have nothing on me. I guess I get worried that if it is just going to be somebody from the metro area, I guess I’d like to see somebody from the rural area put their hat in the ring.”
Koering is a somewhat conservative Republican with strong anti-abortion and gun rights bona fides, but was a supporter of legalizing medical marijuana for terminally ill patients and is against banning same-sex marriage by constitutional amendment, both generally regarded as progressive stances.
He says he can work on both sides of the aisle. “The state is in a critical condition right now,” he said. “We are in need of a chief executive officer who can work across party lines to get through these troubled times.”
Koering is one of a growing list of Republicans looking to take over for Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who announced on Monday he will be not be seeking a third term.
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