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Tim Walz

GOP Rep. Dean opens gubernatorial bid with health care focus

Republican state Rep. Matt Dean announced Thursday that he's running for governor in 2018.

Nearly a dozen candidates are already in the running to replace Gov. Mark Dayton as both parties scramble to fill the seat after the two-term Democratic governor leaves office. But Dean is among the first top-tier Republican candidates.

A former House Majority Leader whose name is intertwined with health care policy debates, Dean made clear that health care — and his longstanding effort to abolish MNsure, the state's insurance exchange under the federal health care overhaul — would be the central issue of his campaign.

"This is a fundamental choice right now: Is Minnesota...