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IP candidate for governor Horner splits from PR firm Himle Horner

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Independent Party candidate for governor Tom Horner said today that he's leaving the public relations firm he co-founded in 1989.

Horner announced Monday that he sold half of his shares back to Himle Horner and half to the company's president. Horner said he started selling the shares in the company in 2008 and finished selling the shares Monday. 

He also said he has no more financial relationship with the company other than some limited consulting work with Twin Cities hospitals.

"I have sold all of my financial interest in Himle Horner. I have no more professional stake in Himle Horner," Horner said. "People ought to know that those issues that I speak directly about, as always, are the positions that I hold because of my philosophies."

Horner said recent criticism that he won't release his client list played no role in his decision to leave the firm. 

Tony Sutton, chair of the Minnesota Republican Party, said Horner should still release his list of former clients and how much money his buyout was worth.

 "He wants to be 'Mr. Ethical,' 'Mr. Above Board,' 'Mr. I-don't-get-my-hands-dirty,' but at the same time he won't tell us his clients are, who these possible conflicts are which is an indication that perhaps there are some embarrassing clients or some potential for conflict," Sutton said. "It's a real easy thing to do. Just give us the list."

Horner has refused to release his full list of clients and won't say how much he made from the sale of his shares. 

Horner's campaign says Republicans are trying to make an issue out his business because they fear Horner will draw support away from the endorsed GOP candidate Tom Emmer.

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Editor's note: An earlier version of this story reported that Tom Horner would be continuing with limited consulting work with the Minnesota Hospital Association. This has been corrected to reflect that Horner would be doing limited consulting with Twin Cities hospitals.