ST. PAUL, Minn. – A state legislator from the western suburbs is adding his name to the growing list of Republican hopefuls seeking to succeed Gov. Mark Dayton.
Sen. David Osmek (R-Mound) has announced his decision to run for governor in 2018.
Osmek, a lifelong Minnesotan, grew up in Glencoe and graduated from St. Cloud State University. In 2012, Osmek was elected to the Minnesota Senate. Outside of his work as a senator, he works as a project manager for OptumInsight, a health software company.
In an interview with Alpha News, Osmek said he decided to run for governor because Minnesotans “need a solid conservative that will fight for Minnesota values.”
“I come with a little different experience package. I can be a little bit more direct, and a little bit more unvarnished from time-to-time,” Osmek told Alpha News. “People are looking for somebody that is not the polished politician. They are looking for somebody that honors and subscribes to their values.”
Osmek did not hold back in his critique of Dayton, saying Minnesotans deserve better leadership.
“Governor Mark Dayton has been an abject failure as far as being a leader,” Osmek said. “He leads from behind or, better yet, he doesn’t lead at all.”
Osmek singled out Dayton’s decision to veto the funding for the State Senate and House at the end of May. Despite having signed all ten budget bills, Dayton stripped the legislature’s funding in an attempt to force Republican legislative leaders into a special session. Osmek criticized the governor’s decision, saying “that’s not leadership, that’s cowardice.”
As a senator, Osmek has become known for his critical view of the Metropolitan Council. As governor, Osmek says he would dismantle the Metropolitan Council as well as put an end to the Southwest Light Rail Transit project. Osmek says the state needs to look at investing in roads and bridges to “get people to work.”
Osmek also promises to “protect the taxpayer at all costs,” something he says the government in Minnesota has not been known to do.
“We need a governor who is willing to stand up to and fight for Minnesota values,” Osmek said. “I will stand up, even when nobody else wants to.”
On Tuesday morning, Osmek is expected to kick off his campaign in a press conference at the State Office Building. Stay tuned to Alpha News for a live stream of the event.