2018 Minnesota Governor’s Race: Johnson vs. Walz

I’ve been following the governor’s race in Minnesota for more than a year. Initially I liked Rebecca Otto, but after the DFL endorsement I supported Erin Murphy and became pretty involved in her campaign. The primary loss was tough, and I’ve been much quieter about the governor’s race.

We’ve got Jeff Johnson facing off against Tim Walz.

I’ll be honest: Another older white guy for governor isn’t that exciting to me (but let’s be more honest—excitement isn’t what we need in government). Though Walz’ service in the military and as a teacher is something to get excited about. I don’t know if he can follow through on his “One Minnesota” idea to bring people together, but that’s something I’m willing to root for. It reflects the #PoliticsOfJoy I loved so much in the Murphy campaign.

Generating Excitement

What I find most exciting about Walz is his running mate, Peggy Flanagan. Last month she pointed to Sojourners on Twitter and their “I believe you” video from faith leaders to survivors, and said, “This video broke the dam of all of the things I have been holding inside. I hope it is helpful to you.” (Source)

That kind of response is so encouraging.

And a video like this certainly helps with the excitement. If Walz can live up to this, I think he’ll be a great governor.



He’s facing off against Jeff Johnson, a Hennepin County commissioner who ran for governor in 2014 against Mark Dayton and lost.

In many ways, this is a pretty easy decision simply based on the issues. I think Democratic leadership has been good for Minnesota. I watched as we came out of the recession and raised taxes while Kansas lowered taxes. Kansas ran out of money and had a budgetary crisis. Minnesota’s economy is thriving. And pick your other issues. I’m glad that Minnesota Democrats made gay marriage legal after the people voted down a Constitutional amendment that would have banned it. I’m horrified at the way some Republicans have vilified Muslims. Looking at other issues from the environment to guns, I line up with the Democrats.

But the biggest thing is that Johnson has run a campaign of doubling down on Trump. He’s said he doesn’t care for Trump’s style, but he’s pleased with him on the issues. He wants to stop refugees from coming to Minnesota, questioning whether or not we can bear the cost. That just doesn’t reflect the Minnesota I’ve come to know and love.

Vote November 6

So I’ll be voting for Walz and Flanagan. Do your research and make up your own mind, but please vote on November 6 (or earlier).

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