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10-week scramble opens for GOP governor nomination

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- A 10-week scramble among Republicans to determine Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton's fall opponent is underway. The Minnesota GOP will have the first competitive primary for Republicans in a statewide race in two decades.

Four contenders had filed to run as of Monday.

Jeff Johnson won the party's endorsement at a weekend state convention.

But three fellow candidates hope to overtake the Hennepin County commissioner.

They are: businessman Scott Honour, former House Speaker Kurt Zellers and former Rep. Marty Seifert. Johnson says he thinks he'll need to raise and spend $1 million to be successful on Aug. 12. This year is shaping up as more wide open than the party's 1994 primary, when incumbent GOP Gov. Arne Carlson dispatched with a challenger from his right.