Rob Farnsworth, a 35-year-old special-education teacher from Hibbing, announced today that he will seek office as Minnesota's next governor. He said he intends to seek the GOP endorsement.
This will be Farnsworth's second run for political office. In 2010, he sought his party's endorsement to run against then-U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, but Farnsworth stepped aside when Chip Cravaack received the Republican nod.
Farnsworth, the son of a miner, described Cravaack as a model. He said that, like Cravaack, he, too, would bring a strong union background to the race. Farnsworth has been a union member for 15 years and previously served as a union local president while working as an educator for the Department of Corrections.
"I admire what Chip Cravaack was able to do in the 8th District. As a former union member, he was able to bring conservative union members into the Republican coalition, and this propelled him to victory in 2010," he said in a news release. "I am the only announced candidate that brings these strengths to the campaign."
Farnsworth said he'll spend the coming days in a booth at the Minnesota State Fair, meeting people and listening to their concerns.
In a prepared statement, Farnsworth described his motivation to run as governor as follows: "I have three children under the age of five. Under the current leadership, we are going to leave them a state that provides less opportunity than the Minnesota I grew up in. We can truly reform education to teach kids what they will actually use and have them ready for life. We can provide services at the local level. I have the conviction that Minnesota can and should be the place that the rest of the nation looks to as an example of how things are done right."
Farnsworth earned an undergraduate degree in history from the University of St. Thomas and a master's degree in special education from Minnesota State University, Mankato.