NEW ULM - Scott Honour's campaign for the Republican governor candidacy is a family affair. Honour's parents, John and Marlys Honour, stopped in New Ulm Thursday for some campaigning, stopping by local businesses to spread the word about their son's campaign and to listen to what folks have to say.
What are they finding on the campaign trail?
"Well, a lot of people haven't heard of Scott, but he's working to change that," said John Honour. "And a lot of people aren't aware that there is a primary election being held on Aug. 12."
John and Marlys Honour, parents of Republican gubernatorial hopeful Scott Honour, stopped in New Ulm Thursday to campaign for their son.
Staff photo by Kevin Sweeney
Honour is one of four candidates seeking the Republican nomination in the election. The field includes Jeff Johnson, the Hennepin County commissioner and former state representative who received the party endorsement at the Republican State Convention; Marty Seifert, the former state representative and House Minority leader who lost the endorsement to Tom Emmer in 2012 and vowed to seek the primary endorsement this year, and Kurt Zellers, the House Speaker in the Minnesota Legislature.
"The others are all professional politicians," said John Honour. "Scott is the only one with a strong business background."
Parental pride aside, the Honours think there are a lot of good reasons to vote for their son. He is smart - high school valedictorian at Mound High School who earned scholarships to Harvard and Pepperdine University in California. He attended Pepperdine for the business studies, and graduated with honors, then attending the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Scott Honour pursued a career as an investment banker, then for a firm that bought and fixed troubled businesses, buying over 60 companies and making them profitable.
"He's a hero to the Texas Teachers Retirement Fund members," said John Honour. "He made them a lot of money. He would work to fix the Minnesota state pension fund and its unfunded liabilities."
Scott Honour's plans to improve the state focus on improving the state's business climate. As a business owner himself, he knows that businesses are leaving the state for better taxes and regulatory situations elsewhere.
"Scott says Minnesota is losing a million dollars a day in economic activity," his father said. Excessive regulation is also driving businesses away. John Honour pointed to Magnetronics, a company with plans and processes to extract more iron out of the tailings and ore on the Iron Range. But they learned that getting a permit would take three years, so they set up in Indiana, where they got their permits in eight months, Honour said.
"That's 100 jobs lost on the Iron Range," said John.
Honour would also like to improve education, doing away with the teacher seniority system to allow school districts to keep the best teachers, not those with the most tenure.
Scott Honour would also like to reduce the size of the state government by 10 percent, his father said.
"Scott's greatest asset, besides being really bright and hard working, is his ability to bring competing factions together to create a solution. I know by watching him in his career and seeing his ability to negotiate. He's very, very good at that."
His mother said Scott Honour would tackle the state's problems with enthusiasm.
"He's told me, 'Mom, I like what I'm dong, and I feel like every day is Christmas. I wake up and there are all these messages about problems that I get to work on and fix," said Marlys Honour.
The Honours are hoping people will go to the polls on Aug. 12 and give their son the chance to work on their problems.