Huffman steps out of gubernatorial race

Blake Huffman

Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman has withdrawn his name from the crowded gubernatorial race.

Huffman, who announced his candidacy in mid-April, was the first Republican to enter the fray of declared candidates, now numbering at more than a dozen.

In a Sept. 4 statement, he cited time constraints as leading to his decision to cancel his campaign.

Between his work as a county commissioner and growth at his nonprofit — Journey Home MN — Huffman said, “I find myself struggling to find time to execute an effective and quality campaign for our state’s highest office.”

Huffman, 52, a former Shoreview City Council member, founded Journey Home MN in 2008 and serves as its executive director. 

The local nonprofit seeks to create or restore stability and security for individuals through providing or constructing safe and affordable housing, for both veterans and women coming out of domestic violence situations. It’s currently building homes in Grand Marais, Duluth and in the Twin Cities, he said.  

According to Huffman, part of the nonprofit’s growth is due to new partnerships for “several larger developments” for veterans. 

A retired vice president with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Huffman was first elected to the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners in November 2012. 

“I remain very committed to my role as a Ramsey County commissioner,” he said, noting focuses on Rice Creek Commons — the huge development at the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant in Arden Hills — and “other job growth initiatives.” 

Huffman represents District 1, which is made up of Arden Hills, Gem Lake, North Oaks, Shoreview, Vadnais Heights, White Bear Township and parts of Mounds View, Spring Lake Park and Blaine.

The 2016 campaign for his seat on the board played out in stark contrast to the crowded race for governor, which will be decided more than a year from now — running completely unopposed, he was elected to a second four-year term. 

The packed field of candidates aims to take the reigns from Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, who has announced he will not be seeking a third term in office. 

“I wish the best of luck to the current and future candidates,” Huffman said in anticipation of the Nov. 6, 2018 election. 


Jesse Poole can be reached at or at 651-748-7815


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