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Tim Pawlenty

Pawlenty loss shows Minnesota GOP's reluctance to coronate

As the last Republican to win statewide in traditionally blue Minnesota, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty hoped to be the party's savior by running for his old job. Voters instead chose a lesser-known local official who didn't carry the stigma of the GOP establishment or of calling President Donald Trump "unhinged."

The defeat had echoes of Pawlenty's short-lived 2012 presidential campaign, when the Midwestern governor and self-styled "Sam's Club Republican" was briefly looked at as a top contender before fading quickly after a dismal showing at the 2011 Iowa straw poll.

After his loss Tuesday to Jeff Johnson, Pawlenty said he's done running for office.

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