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The Latest: Both parties sound off on Pawlenty's campaign

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - -

The Latest on former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's announcement that he's running for his old job again (all times local):

3:50 p.m.

Democrats and Republicans alike are sounding off about former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's decision to run for his old job.

Pawlenty officially entered the race Thursday after months of speculation. His name recognition and fundraising prowess makes him a top contender in a crowded Republican field to replace Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton.

Minnesota's Democratic Party chair Ken Martin says Pawlenty left the state's budget in shambles after his first stint as governor. Dayton entered office with a $6.2 billion budget deficit.

Fellow GOP candidate Jeff Johnson says Pawlenty's recent stint as a lobbyist for the nation's largest banks and disavowal of President Donald Trump before the 2016 election makes him a poor candidate.

Big spending outside groups from both parties have signaled they'll focus on the race.

3 p.m.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is running for his old job.

The two-term governor announced Thursday he's entering the 2018 race after months of speculation and taking concrete steps toward a run. He's immediately a top competitor in a crowded Republican field that has struggled with fundraising.

Pawlenty brings widespread recognition in Minnesota and unparalleled fundraising ability in the race to replace outgoing Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton. But his five years lobbying in Washington for the nation's biggest banks also brings political risk.

It's a shot at a return to politics for Pawlenty, who left office in 2011 and ran a short-lived 2012 presidential campaign. He declined calls to run for the U.S. Senate earlier this year.

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