Minnesota’s next gubernatorial election is still more than two years away, but MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell said he is warming up to the idea of running.
A January article in The Star Tribune claimed Lindell was “open” to the possibility and suggested he would make a “dream candidate” for Republicans, given his fame, wealth, and inspiring life story.
“They said I’d make a dream candidate for a Republican. If I run, I’d want to be known as a dream candidate for everyone. That’s what I want,” Lindell told The Minnesota Sun in a recent interview.
Lindell said he “didn’t know a liberal from a conservative” when he was coming down from his decades of drug abuse. Now, he’s one of the most prominent supporters of President Donald Trump and said he admires the president’s “common sense” solutions.
The MyPillow executive reached a point in his life where “politics was kind of right in my face,” he said. His friends were losing their houses and jobs and he was struggling to get his company off the ground.
“The politics, I know now how it affects our daily lives,” he said. “When I came out of addiction, all these people I knew had lost their houses, they lost their jobs. They didn’t know how to handle this. I knew how to handle it because I’ve been through so many things.”
Lindell said Minnesota needs a governor who’s “been there” and indicated that he might end up running simply because he doesn’t “trust anyone else to do it.”
“What if I’m the only guy?” said Lindell, noting that a lot has happened since rumors first circulated in late January that he might run.
“I was with the surrogates for Iowa. There was 88 of us there. I talked to some governors, I talked to some governors in Florida and I asked them what it’s like,” he added. He was also invited to a recent conference for governors in Washington.
As of now, Lindell said he’s doing his “due diligence” and won’t run unless he’s sure he “could do the best job in the history of governors.”
“I’m a lot more open to it than I was when The Star Tribune article came out,” he said. “I’m a lot more committed than I was because I see, I know I can fix things. Right now, I’m doing heavy due diligence into what the job entails – what can you do, what can’t you do. I’m not going to go into anything that I think I could fail at or that I wouldn’t have a passion to do.”
He even floated the idea of launching a third party called the “common sense party,” but said the president “has kind of moved the Republican Party that direction.”
“I think Donald Trump has changed that party. I know he has. It’s a new party. And I like it,” said Lindell. “I like that new party. There’s actually so much that I do that was considered Democratic. Donald Trump had to pick a party. He had to pick a party and obviously the Republicans were extremely against him right away. Now look at all these things this guy is getting done despite being attacked by both parties.”
Lindell comes from a blank political slate and would want to be a “uniter” as governor, he said.
“I just want to show Minnesota that we’re all in this together,” said Lindell, expressing some remorse over the direction the state is going in.
“There are things going on in Minnesota that are very disturbing to me. One of them is the black unemployment in this country being at an all-time low, but do you know where the worst black unemployment is in the United States? It’s Omar’s district – Minneapolis. That’s sad to me. This is my home state. I grew up here. These are things I fear, where we’ve gone in Minnesota,” Lindell added. “I want to be a dream candidate for everyone. I want to unite.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Mike Lindell” by Mike Lindell. Background Photo “Minnesota Capitol” by McGhiever. CC BY-SA 4.0.