Three DFL candidates and one Independence Party candidate for governor shared the stage at a forum today in Minneapolis.
The YWCA of Minneapolis and Minnesota Women Lawyers hosted the event, which largely focused on issues impacting women.
On the issue of early childhood education, DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher said she would look for a dedicated funding source for programs that cover birth through age 5.
"This is one of our biggest returns on investment," Kelliher said. "This links to all the other education issues in the state." Kelliher later added that as governor she would appoint a cabinet-level advisor on early childhood education issues.
DFLer Mark Dayton stressed his commitment to gender pay equity. The former U.S. Senator said that as governor he would set an example for the private sector to follow.
"In my administration, I will guarantee to set that example by the pay scale that I set and the people I appoint to leadership positions," Dayton said.
The other DFL candidate, Matt Entenza, stressed his experience as a prosecutor and a recent endorsement from Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner.
Entenza said he wants Gaertner to lead the transition once he's elected governor. He also said he would soon name a transition team.
"We need to get to work quick," Entenza said.
Tom Horner of the Independence Party said he would try to assemble a cabinet similar to that of former Gov. Jesse Ventura. Horner also said he wants to reform the tax system.
"We have to raise some taxes, we have to cut other taxes," Horner said. "We have to reduce the taxes on job creation in Minnesota."
Republican candidate for governor Rep. Tom Emmer was invited, but did not attend the forum.