Former WCCO Radio host Cory Hepola suspends third-party bid for Minnesota governor

Hepola announced that he was dropping out of the race Tuesday, just ahead of the deadline to file.

Cory Hepola - gubernatorial announcement
Former WCCO Radio host Cory Hepola on Wednesday, March 2, 2022, speaks to reporters at the Minnesota Capitol about his independent bid for governor.
Dana Ferguson / Forum News Service
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ST. PAUL — Former WCCO Radio host Cory Hepola on Tuesday, May 31, announced that he was suspending his bid for Minnesota governor.

Hepola in March launched his bid for governor as a candidate representing the Forward Party of Minnesota , a third-party group that seeks to appeal to "the logical, reasonable, solutions-oriented voter," according to the party's website.

In a statement released just ahead of the filing deadline, Hepola said the party wasn't strong enough to break through the "polarization driven by the Democratic and Republican parties."

"I have chosen not to file for governor of Minnesota," Hepola said. "However, I will continue to promote and build support for the bold, new ideas on which my campaign was built and to create the political vehicle that can transform proposals to policy."

A native of Perham, Minnesota, Hepola joined WCCO Radio in 2019 after working as a morning and weekend anchor at KARE 11. He stepped down from the role in February as he mulled a run for governor.


As of Tuesday afternoon, seven candidates had filed to run for governor:

  • Gov. Tim Walz, DFL
  • Ole Savior, DFL
  • Scott Jensen, R
  • Joyce Lynne Lacey, R
  • Steve Patterson, Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party
  • James McCaskel, Legal Marijuana Now
  • Chris Wright, Legal Marijuana Now
Several incumbent state legislators, particularly in the Senate, edged out competitors with more extreme views on COVID-19, election security and more.

Follow Dana Ferguson on Twitter  @bydanaferguson , call 651-290-0707 or email

Dana Ferguson is a Minnesota Capitol Correspondent for Forum News Service. Ferguson has covered state government and political stories since she joined the news service in 2018, reporting on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the divided Statehouse and the 2020 election.
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