Posted at: 10/25/2013 10:49 PM
By: Steph Crock

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Voters Weigh In on Issues at GOP Forum

(ABC 6 News) -- The election for Minnesota Governor is still a year away, but Republicans planning to run against Democratic Governor Mark Dayton have already started the campaign trail.

Five candidates have made it clear, they are running for Minnesota Governor. All of them were at a forum Friday in Rochester put on by the Republican Party of Olmsted County.

The five candidates there were Rob Farnsworth of Hibbing, Wayzata businessman Scott Honour, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, State Senator Dave Thompson from Lakeville, and Representative Kurt Zellers from Maple Grove.

We spoke with those who attended the event to hear what big concerns they had for this election. It's roughly 52 weeks away, but Republican candidates are already preparing to give Democratic Governor Mark Dayton the boot.

Republican voters there made it clear, they want to see a shift in power at the capitol. "One party totally in control is always, I think, a bit dangerous," said Fran Bradley.

At this early in the game, many of the voters are keeping an open mind as to which Republican candidate they want to support, but it's forums like this one that help with that big decision. "I am at times disappointed for people who make judgments, important judgments, on voting without taking the time to get educated," said Bradley.

"It's important that we select the right candidates before the general election so that the people that we are actually voting for in November are the people we want to vote for," said Jennifer Parrish.

Those there came with specific hot-button issues in mind. The number one concern was taxes. "Two billions dollars in additional taxes, three billion dollars in growth of spending, those are not the formula for a controlled thoughtful government," said Bradley.

"Taxes are of a concern, the Affordable Care Act, I've got a lot of concerns about that," said Parrish. She had also been at the capitol a lot last session, rallying against the unionization of daycare workers. “The child care union issue, I'd love to know what the plans are for that, how the candidates stand on that. I'd like to know what they plan to do about it beyond just repealing it," said Parrish.

Though only the beginning, voters came looking for answers so they can make informed decisions next November. "Democracy not only depends on people exercising their rights, but exercising their rights intelligently," said Bradley.

We want to know what you think, head over to our Facebook page and tell us what issues are important to you in next year's election.