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Dayton's GOP rivals pan State of State speech

Minnesota Republicans
Minnesota Republicans

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Minnesota Republicans trying to oust Governor Mark Dayton from office are giving negative reviews to the final State of the State speech of the Democrat's term. Reaction from the field of challengers was sharp and swift Wednesday night. Most GOP candidates for governor called the speech political and hypocritical.

Former state Representative Marty Seifert says Dayton's call for unity rang hollow given his frequent clashes with GOP lawmakers. Businessman Scott Honour says Dayton's rosy speech masked a state that's underachieving because ``we are accepting mediocrity instead of striving for excellence.'' Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson says Dayton's address came off as a ``personal re-election speech.'' Republicans won't settle on a challenger until August. State Senator Dave Thompson and Representative Kurt Zellers are also in the running.