Newspapers back independent candidate for governor in Minnesota

Several major newspapers in Minnesota have backed the independent candidate over both the Democrat and the Republican in the gubernatorial race.

The Independence Party's Tom Horner got the backing of Minneapolis Star Tribune and several other major papers on Sunday.

"He possesses not only the understanding and communication skills that governing requires, but, unlike either DFLer [Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party] Mark Dayton or Republican Tom Emmer, he also has the temperament to bridge the partisan divide that has long stymied the search for lasting solutions to chronic problems, both in Minnesota and the nation," the Star Tribune’s editorial board wrote in its endorsement Sunday.

Horner also got the backing over the weekend of the Fargo Forum, the Duluth News Tribune and the Bemidji Pioneer.

A recent Rasmussen survey of 750 likely Minnesota voters showed Dayton with a narrow lead —40 percent to 38 percent lead — over Emmer. Horner took just 15 percent in that survey.

President Obama wraps up his Western swing on Saturday in Minneapolis with a rally for Dayton. Democrats view Minnesota as one of a handful of states where the party could pick up the governorship.

Major newspapers have backed third-party candidates in other states recently, but with little impact. The Newark Star-Ledger, New Jersey's largest newspaper, endorsed former-EPA Regional Administrator Chris Daggett (I) in the 2009 governor's race. Daggett went on to finish third behind Republican Chris Christie and Gov. Jon Corzine (D) with some 5 percent of the vote.