ST. PAUL (AP) -- In a clash overloaded with Halloween cliches, U.S. Sen. Rod Grams charged Tuesday that Democratic rival Mark Dayton pays no taxes in the state.
Dayton promptly responded by saying he paid about $192,966 in state taxes last year.
Grams first made the charge during an appearance on a Twin Cities morning radio show.
"Mark doesn't have a job, he doesn't need to work, so he pays no Social Security tax, he pays no taxes to the state of Minnesota," Grams said on KQRS-FM.
Dayton, the department-store heir, said he also paid $467,654 in federal income taxes.
"He pays a great deal of taxes," said Dayton spokesman Jim Farrell. "I know it's Halloween, but Rod Grams is running very scared."
Kurt Zellers, a spokesman for Grams, said that since Dayton held no job last year, he did not pay state income taxes or Social Security taxes.
Jim Gelbmann, Dayton's campaign manager, said Dayton runs a small investment firm and that state income taxes were part of his overall tax payment last year.
In an afternoon press conference featuring such props as a plastic skeleton and a pumpkin, Grams noted, "I maybe should have qualified (the statement) a little bit."
But Grams maintained that because Dayton is wealthy "it's awfully hard for him to relate to an average working family."
Farrell added: "Mark Dayton has devoted his entire life to serving Minnesotans. His record of public service for Minnesota is unmatched."
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