By Nicole Brodzik
On Tuesday, Aug. 22, Sen. David Osmek, a Republican representing District 33 in the state Legislature, held a press conference in St. Paul to announce his candidacy for Minnesota governor in 2018.
“I’m Dave and I’m running for governor,” Osmek said.
The 52-year-old is currently serving as state senator for District 33, representing Chanhassen, Corcoran, Deephaven, Excelsior, Greenfield, Greenwood, Independence, Long Lake, Loretto, Maple Plain, Medina, Minnetonka Beach, Minnetrista, Mound, Orono, Shorewood, Spring Park, St. Bonifacius, Tonka Bay and Wayzata. Osmek is also currently a project manager for United Health Group.
Before his time as a state legislator, Osmek held a seat on the Mound City Council for over a decade. While giving his annual update to the Mound City Council in March, Osmek mentioned a potential run at the governor’s seat.
“I’m considering running for a different office in 2018,” he said. “I enjoy being your senator, but if someone wants to make me governor, so be it.”
During his announcement Tuesday, Osmek reflected on his childhood growing up in the west metro and said working on his family’s farm instilled what he called, “Minnesota values of hard work, not welfare hand outs, honesty, not the St. Paul double talk, and accountability in doing what you promised.”
Osmek said that he feels Minnesota needs a strong leader and that he would be a good choice to lead the state.
“It’s time for a leader in Minnesota to be a governor, not a follower, and I’m a fighter that believes in this great state,” Osmek said. “That’s why I’m here today and that’s why I’m running for governor.”
Osmek was critical of current Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton during the announcement as well.
“I don’t think this governor espouses the values of hard work either,” he said. “Minnesotans value jobs to go to, schools that teach our children and roads to drive on. They’re looking for a fighter that is willing to defend their wallets and keep their hard earned tax dollars in their pockets, not St. Paul’s pockets.”
He added that one of the first things he would do as governor, if elected, would be to get rid of the Metropolitan Council.
“If I’m elected and I get to appoint the Metropolitan Council, I’m going to appoint members that are going to undo it,” Osmek said.
Osmek said he would appoint former Mound Mayor Mark Hanus as chair of that council because Osmek said Hanus would dismantle the council.
As a Republican, Osmek said that he supports President Donald Trump’s goal of disrupting establishment politics and that he views himself in a similar light.
“What President Trump has is a completely different attitude,” Osmek said. “He’s taken on of course the Fourth Estate, but he’s also taken on the establishment. I’m not going to be the person the establishment’s going to like.”
Osmek was elected to the state Senate in 2012, where he is currently chair of the Energy and Utilities Finance and Policy Committee and sits on the Capital Investment, Local Government, and Transportation Finance and Policy committees. In the past year, Osmek has voted in favor of the House Bill 600, which prohibits individual cities from setting their own minimum wage or paid sick leave laws, as well as voting in favor of Real ID compliance and oil pipeline construction and repair bills.
He is one of many recent candidates announcing their runs for the Republican nomination for governor. Others in the race include 2014 candidate Jeff Johnson, Matt Dean of Dellwood, former GOP Party Chair Keith Downey and Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman.