Gubernatorial Candidates Debate For The First Time Since Primary
The first gubernatorial debate since the primary was held today at Grand View Lodge in Nisswa. Republican nominee Jeff Johnson squared off against Democratic nominee Tim Walz and discussing their vision for Minnesota.
“I am a school teacher, a soldier, a football coach, a husband, a dad, and a proud Minnesotan. I would have never imagined, I never planned my life to run for office, but I think my life has prepared me well,” said Democratic nominee Tim Walz.
“I want to lead a state, along with Donna [Bergstrom], where we have given the government back to the hardworking, everyday, forgotten Minnesotans,” said Republican nominee Jeff Johnson.
The debate was put on through a partnership between the Minnesota, Brainerd, and Nisswa Chambers of Commerce, and the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters. The candidates discussed a variety of topics from education to infrastructure, tax reform, and business.
“We are uncompetitive when it comes to our regulatory environment and the attitude that many of our state agencies have towards entrepreneurs and businesses with the states that surround us,” added Johnson. “And we are uncompetitive when it comes to the permitting process.”
“We need to make sure we have the workforce, and let’s have a conversation about immigration and about what immigration does on the positive side of our workforce and the economy and all of those things that are going to impact you as business owners, and you as taxpayers in Minnesota,” explained Walz.
Though the candidates differ on many fundamental issues, the debate was civil. Both agree that having cordial debates is important to the election process.
“We’ve got another debate tonight. We’ve got another debate tomorrow. But I think that’s good. I think Minnesotans, you know, they’re kind of tired of this business-as-usual campaign where the candidates aren’t necessarily out there and you’ve got to decide based upon TV commercials which never mean much,” explained Johnson. “So, I think this is good and I’m glad we’re both willing to do it.”
“I’m just thankful everyone came out here. This is the way democracy’s supposed to be. I think you saw two very different visions of Minnesota, but what I’m very proud of is, and I think it’s very important and I hope the nation watches this,” added Walz. “This can be done with civility and dignity and I’m very appreciative to Jeff for the way he debates and the way he campaigns.”
The two candidates have busy campaigns ahead of them leading up to the general election on November 6th when Minnesota will chose their next governor.
Over 300 people attended the debate, which was moderated by Tom Hauser of KSTP.