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Defeated GOP gubernatorial candidate Johnson ‘done’ with politics

Jeff Johnson Forum News Service file photo

ST. PAUL -- Jeff Johnson, the Republican candidate for governor, plans to leave politics after his term as a Hennepin County commissioner ends in 2020.

Johnson, originally from Detroit Lakes,  was defeated by Congressman Tim Walz in last week’s gubernatorial election. It was Johnson’s third failed bid for statewide office.

“Losing stinks. Especially when the stakes are so high and so many people are counting on you to win,” Johnson said in a recent Facebook post. “I’m heading back to my county office downtown tomorrow and will pick up the fight for the taxpayers of Hennepin for the rest of my term. And then it’s time to move on from politics to something new.”

Johnson’s term on the county board ends in 2020.

He lost the Nov. 6 race for governor with Walz getting 54 percent of the vote to Johnson’s 42. He defeated former Gov. Tim Pawlenty in the August Republican primary.

He also lost a race for governor to Gov. Mark Dayton in 2014 and a race for attorney general in 2006 to Lori Swanson.

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