May 4, 2018

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Latest News, Minnesota

Embarrassing: Pawlenty’s Former LG Endorses His Primary Opponent

Molnau Calls Johnson the “Most Electable” Candidate

You won’t be seeing a recreation of this picture anytime soon:

Today, Carol Molnau, Tim Pawlenty’s former Lieutenant Governor, endorsed Pawlenty’s primary opponent Jeff Johnson:

“Former Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau, who served two terms with Pawlenty, said Friday she supports Johnson over her old boss in the Minnesota governor’s race. ‘I just haven’t thought about Mr. Pawlenty at all,’ she said.”

Maybe she hasn’t thought about Pawlenty because he spent the last five years as a Wall Street lobbyist in D.C. or maybe she’s been trying to forget his disastrous tenure as governor where he left behind a $6.2 billion budget deficit, schools underfunded by $2 billion, and hundreds of thousands of unemployed Minnesotans.

Either way, losing out on the endorsement from your own LG is a huge embarrassment. Pawlenty’s Minnesota homecoming continues to get rougher and rougher.

Read about the political snub here or excerpts below:

Star Tribune: Carol Molnau, who was Pawlenty’s lieutenant governor, endorses his GOP rival

By Jessie Van Berkel

Tim Pawlenty’s lieutenant governor has endorsed his Republican opponent, Jeff Johnson, for the state’s top political job.

Former Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau, who served two terms with Pawlenty, said Friday she supports Johnson over her old boss in the Minnesota governor’s race. But she said her decision was not a matter of measuring the two men against each another.

“I just haven’t thought about Mr. Pawlenty at all,” she said.

…Johnson is a constitutionalist whose views and values align closely with her own, Molnau said, and she believes he is the most electable candidate.

…Molnau did not critique Pawlenty during Friday’s announcement. But she has been critical of Pawlenty in the past: she told the Huffington Post during his presidential bid in 2011 that he “surrounds himself with people that say ‘yes’ and tell him how good he’s doing.”

Pawlenty’s campaign could not immediately be reached for comment.

In addition to serving as Pawlenty’s lieutenant governor, Molnau also served as transportation commissioner for much of his time in office. A former state representative from Carver County, Molnau was head of the Minnesota Department of Transportation during the Interstate 35W bridge collapse in 2007, and the DFL Senate ousted her from the position the following year.