A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about the importance of the statewide races for the Minnesota House of Representatives. With work hard, Democrats can change 11 house seats so that we take control of the house.
In that post, I added that the most important race in 2018 is the governor race, because we are one race from becoming Wisconsin. I want to use this post to explain why I’m supporting Tim Walz as the next governor of Minnesota.
Let’s start with the most important statement. The DFL in 2018 is blessed with an abundance of highly qualified governor candidates: Congressman Tim Walz, Mayor Chris Coleman, State Auditor Rebecca Otto, State Representative Paul Thissen, State Representative Tina Liebling, State Representative Erin Murphy, and, maybe, Attorney General Lori Swanson. The Republicans wish that they had one candidate as qualified as any one of those seven.
When candidates started to announce that they were running, I took the time to read about them. The one candidate that separates himself from the others was Tim Walz, for an obvious reason: he is from Greater Minnesota. The DFL lost the Greater Minnesota vote in 2016. I grew up on a farm in Iowa. My graduation class had 63 students. I know farmers and rural communities. There is no good reason that the DFL should continue to lose the Greater Minnesota vote in future elections. Tim can successfully take the Democratic message to Greater Minnesota.
[A quick digression: When I grew up in Iowa, we talked about rural Iowa vs. Des Moines. Now, while talking to people about Tim Walz, I quickly learned that the proper term for rural Minnesota is not rural Minnesota or outstate Minnesota, but “Greater Minnesota.” I believe it’s correct to capitalize that term.]
A deeper investigation into Tim Walz revealed two important qualifications. He worked as a high school teacher and coach in Mankato, and he served 24 years in the Army National Guard, which means he strongly supports both effective education and military funding.
I am a good liberal Democrat and believe that we need more women in high level elected offices, but we also need to vote for the person most likely to win the election. I think Tim is that person. I also believe that Tim will help Democrats win more Greater Minnesota house races so that we have a better chance of winning back the Minnesota House and making Melissa Hortman, my representative, Speaker of the House.
The main reason to write this endorsement now is that minnpost.com recently published an article that highlighted Tim’s past support of the NRA. I think gun control is an important issue, but to be honest, it is not one of my top priorities for my next governor.
As a thought experiment, let me list some issues, in no particular order, that are more important to me in the governor’s race than increased gun control: affordable healthcare, access to abortion and contraception, easy access to voting for US citizens (how about Saturday voting and no gerrymandering), improved police conduct (turn on the body cameras), fair tax policies (the rich pay a higher percentage than the poor), protection of DACA children, funding for higher education and K-12, infrastructure funding (more mass transit), and more support for economic development in Greater Minnesota. From my reading about Tim and listening to him, I believe that he has acceptable progressive positions on all of these issues.
During the past week, Tim Walz provided one more reason to support him for governor. He made a decision that was one of the most brilliant strategic campaign moves that I have seen in forty-five years of following politics – he announced Peggy Flanagan as his running mate. Tim selected a highly qualified Native American woman from the Twin Cities so that his ticket now represents all of Minnesota. Because he can pull that off, we should have confidence that Tim and Peggy will be great at running Minnesota for the next eight years.
Here is Tim and Peggy’s website: www.walzflanagan.org. Please support them.
I took these pictures when I drove to Rochester on October 7th to see Tim Walz introduce Peggy Flanagan as his running mate. In a three day, whirlwind tour, they made stops in St. Paul, Rochester, Mankato, Duluth, Hibbing, Bemidji, Moorhead, and St. Cloud.