Local bar owner to seek GOP nod for governor race

Elena Rozwadowski

Stub & Herbs owner Sue Jeffers has been providing beer and burgers to the University campus for 27 years.

“I love the ‘U,’ ” Jeffers said.

Jeffers said she hopes to serve more than hungry students. She wants to serve the entire state of Minnesota as its governor.

Jeffers said she will seek GOP backing for her gubernatorial campaign Thursday, which could help her replace Gov. Tim Pawlenty as the Republican candidate in the November election.

“Minnesota needs me and they need me now,” she said. “It’s clear they cannot close the checkbook and stop spending money.”

Jeffers, who is a self-proclaimed “lifelong Republican,” was running on the Libertarian ticket, but noticed she was getting a lot of multiparty support and decided to try to run with Republican Party support, she said.

“It’s big-government Republicans and even-bigger-government Democrats and that motivated me to run under the Libertarian ticket,” she said. “But you need to be able to unite people.”

Jeffers said she thinks the political climate is right for her election.

“Here you have a political climate that is very similar to 1998 when (former Gov.) Jesse Ventura won,” she said. “You have a lot of unhappy Republicans, a lot of unhappy Democrats and you have a viable third-party candidate that’s coming in with a fresh, clear message that can actually change the direction from the tax-and-spend days of old.”

Because of Jeffers’ switch to Republican, she has faced resistance from GOP members such as party chairman Ron Carey, who is trying to implement new endorcement rules.

In addition to these rules, Carey has said in previous reports he will not give Jeffers a list of delegates, whose signatures she might need in order to request party backing.

Republican delegate Dan McGrath said he thinks the party is being unfair to Jeffers.

“I think it’s despicable that Ron Carey has unilaterally decided who our delegates are going to be able to have access to,” McGrath said. He said the party endorsement is up for grabs and Jeffers should have the opportunity to seek it.

“I think (Jeffers) would be an excellent governor, setting party aside, and I think she’d be a good Republican governor as well,” he said.

There are those, however, who said Jeffers is not as strong a candidate as Pawlenty, like Jason Baskin, president of the University’s College Republicans.

“Tim Pawlenty is not only the best candidate for the Republican party, but the best candidate for the state for governor,” Baskin said. “For a governor like Pawlenty, who has been so good to not only the state but the Republican Party, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to try and hurt his electoral stances.”

Baskin said Pawlenty is a strong University supporter and the College Republicans would be excited for his re-election.

“I know that he’s a big supporter of making the University work well,” he said.