Dayton bested rival in lower-spending governor's race

Dayton and Johnson debate in Duluth
Gov. Mark Dayton, left, gestures during a debate with Republican challenger Jeff Johnson on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014, at the Duluth Playhouse in Duluth, Minn.
Derek Montgomery / For MPR News 2014

Updated: 10:10 a.m. | Posted: 6:40 a.m.

Minnesota's campaign for governor was a bargain compared to the spending in the same race four years earlier.

Final figures from the 2014 campaign were published Tuesday. They show Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton spent about $3 million last year toward his re-election. Republican nominee Jeff Johnson clocked in at $2.4 million. Three other Republican hopefuls combined to spend about $2 million.

Still, those figures pale with candidate spending in 2010's governor race, when the Democratic and Republican nominees spent $7.5 million and a third-party candidate added another $1.3 million. The Democratic primary that year was far more expensive, too.

Even outside group spending also fell. For example, the liberal Alliance for a Better Minnesota group spent $5.7 million on 2010's governor's race and dropped that to $3 million last year.

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