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Associated Press, Published March 19 2010

Two GOP governor candidates get testy in debate

PLYMOUTH, Minn. – Reflecting their tight battle, Republicans Tom Emmer and Marty Seifert challenged each other on voting records and proposals they would push if they became Minnesota governor.

The pair held a rare one-on-one debate Thursday night, hoping to pull party activists to their side with a state endorsing convention just six weeks away.

Seifert poked Emmer over a vote that spared the Minnesota Twins from a referendum on the sales tax that helped finance a new ballpark. Emmer ripped a Seifert budget plan as too timid and said he would take a sharper knife to state government.

Both are state legislators trying to trade up to the governor’s mansion, which incumbent Gov. Tim Pawlenty is leaving. There are other Republican candidates, but Seifert and Emmer are the top contenders.

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