Thompson picks Benson in Minnesota governors race

Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Dave Thompson has chosen a fellow GOP state senator as his running mate, a Republican official with direct knowledge of the pick told The Associated Press.

The official told AP that Thompson would introduce second-term Senator Michelle Benson as his choice for lieutenant governor on Thursday. The official wasn’t authorized to speak for attribution ahead of Thompson’s midmorning news conference.

Reached Wednesday night, Thompson declined comment.

Thompson is one of seven Republicans vying to take on Democratic Governor Mark Dayton but the first to fill out his ticket.

Benson was first elected in 2010, the same year as Thompson. She has emerged as a leading critic of the state’s health insurance marketplace. Married with three children, Benson lives in Ham Lake.