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DFL Rep. Thissen drops out of governor's race

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Paul Thissen
Paul Thissen
Carlos Gonzalez | Star Tribune via AP file

State Rep. Paul Thissen on Wednesday dropped out of the 2018 race for Minnesota governor, a day after his poor showing in Tuesday night's DFL caucuses.

Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis and a former Minnesota House speaker, launched his campaign in June  hoping his record in the Legislature and his promise to work for a fairer economy would appeal to Minnesotans outside the Twin Cities.

But he was swamped Tuesday in a crowded field of DFL candidates. Caucus-goers overwhelmingly chose Minnesota U.S. Rep. Tim Walz as their top candidate for governor, followed by State Auditor Rebecca Otto and state Rep. Erin Murphy of St. Paul.

Thissen finished last among the six Democrats in the running, gaining less than 5 percent of the nonbinding straw ballot vote. He did worse at caucuses than in his first run for governor in 2010.

He is not seeking re-election to the Minnesota House. In a statement, he said he'd been "incredibly blessed and honored" to serve in the Legislature 15 years.

"Not many people get such a chance. I've done my best to do all I could with that opportunity," he wrote. "But I know from experience that so much of life is not just working hard, but being in the right place at the right time. Now is not the right time for my campaign for Governor."