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Entenza bypasses public financing in auditor race

  • The Associated Press
  • Published Thursday, July 17, 2014, at 2:29 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, July 17, 2014, at 3:46 p.m.

— This year's campaign for Minnesota state auditor could get expensive, with challenger Matt Entenza announcing he won't be bound by spending limits in his DFL primary contest with incumbent Rebecca Otto.

Entenza, a former state representative, notified Otto's campaign this week that he will not sign a public subsidy agreement. That allows him to exceed the election cycle expenditure limit.

According to the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, the base spending limit for a state auditor candidate is $417,300, and $500,760 for an auditor candidate "with a closely contested primary."

"Matt will be spending some of his own money and will also be raising money as well," Entenza campaign spokesman Dave Colling told Minnesota Public Radio News (http://bit.ly/1su6wip ).

Otto said in an email she signed the public subsidy agreement.

"Why would a state Auditor campaign need to spend more than $400,000 to communicate their message? This is an oversight position not a policy position," Otto said.

Both sides have announced their first TV ads of the campaign.

Entenza has angered state DFL Party leaders with his last-minute bid to unseat Otto, a two-term incumbent. Entenza has the backing of U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, a Minneapolis Democrat who served with Entenza in the Legislature.

Otto has the state party's formal endorsement. Entenza, the former House minority leader, ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2010 and abandoned a campaign for attorney general four years earlier before voters weighed in.

The winner of the Aug. 12 primary would face Randy Gilbert from the Republican Party, Patrick Dean for the Independence Party and Judith Schwartzbacker of the Grassroots Party.

Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org

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