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A look at the major contenders for Minnesota governor


Mary Giuliani Stephens, 62 The mayor of Woodbury, Minnesota's ninth-largest city ... 268 new businesses and 2,800 new homes.


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Tina Liebling, 64 The seventh-term lawmaker from Rochester is the first DFLer elected to the Legislature from Olmsted CountyLiebling has sought the backing of the progressive wing of the party, touting her support of the presidential campaign of SenBernie Sanders. Erin Murphy, 57 The sixth-term DFLer from StPaul was a transplant nurse who led the Minnesota Nurses Association before being electedShe's made health care the cornerstone of her campaign, drawing on her nursing background and experience helping her mother navigate the health care system at the end of her life. Rebecca Otto, 54 The third-term elected state auditor from May Township is running hard on environmental issuesShe won the endorsement of the DFL's environmental caucus on the strength of a detailed energy plan and has long been an opponent of northeast Minnesota's controversial copper-nickel mining proposals. Paul Thissen, 51 The eighth-term Minneapolis representative served as speaker of the House for two years, during which the Legislature increased the minimum wage, legalized same-sex marriage and medical marijuana, raised taxes on the rich and froze college tuitionBefore his time as speaker, DFLer Thissen had a long legislative resume, especially in health care. Tim Walz, 53 The sixth-term congressman from Mankato represents one of the most agricultural and Republican-leaning districts currently held by a DemocratOnce a high school teacher, Walz's 24 years in the Army National Guard serve him in his position as ranking member of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee. Keith Downey, 57 The former two-term state lawmaker from Edina was elected chairman of the state Republican Party in 2013Downey says his time as a consultant to state and local government gave him an inside look at what happens when government tries to do too much. Jeff Johnson, 51 Often the lone dissenting voice on the Hennepin County Board, Plymouth's Johnson says he's an advocate for taxpayersJohnson was the Republican nominee for governor in 2014, losing by 5.5 percentage pointsHe recently won the endorsement of RepMatt Dean, who dropped out of the governor's race. Mary Giuliani Stephens, 62 The mayor of Woodbury, Minnesota's ninth-largest city, was first elected in 2010 and before that was a law partner in her professional lifeA Republican, she touts the city's growth under her leadership, citing a 17 percent increase in employment, 268 new businesses and 2,800 new homes. 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