Jensen taking message directly to voters at MN State Fair

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For Republican gubernatorial candidate Dr. Scott Jensen, the Minnesota State Fair comes at an opportune time for his campaign. His opponent, Democratic Gov. Tim Walz has raised ten times as much money as Jensen, so the fair is a low-cost way to deliver his message to thousands of potential voters one-on-one.

“I ask people all the time, ‘Do you feel better about Minnesota than you did four years ago? Do you think the path we’re on is the best path? Is this the Minnesota we want to leave to our children and grandchildren?'”

Jensen spoke with 5 Eyewitness News in between shaking hands and posing for selfies with visitors to his Minnesota State Fair booth near Dan Patch and Underwood on the fairgrounds.

Jensen says he’s the target of a distraction campaign by Walz, the DFL Party and various allied special interest groups that support Walz. “The issues in November that are really on the ballot are inflation, crime, education…so no, I would never have thought that they would try to, if you will, distract the voters.”

He says the Alliance for a Better Minnesota is spending millions of dollars on TV ads attacking Jensen on the abortion issue even though the next governor and legislature have no way to make major changes to abortion law. Jensen initially said he supported an abortion ban even in cases of rape and incest. He now says he would not support a ban in cases where the mother’s life is in danger, which would include cases of rape and incest.

This week the Walz campaign and DFL Party distributed a video of a Jensen speech from four months ago at an anti-mask event. During the speech, Jensen said some of the freedoms taken from Minnesotans during the pandemic were similar to the loss of freedoms in 1930’s Germany that led to the rise of Adolf Hitler.

“I think when a person tries to make those comparisons we’re not trying to injure anybody’s feelings…they’re just trying to sometimes sound a warning,” he told 5 Eyewitness News. “Things are happening in America. We’ve had our rights taken away from us.” 

Jensen would like the campaign to focus on issues important to voters, like how each of the candidates will govern over the next four years.  He says voters want to know what they will do about improving public safety.

“They want to be able to go to a Twins game without being afraid,” he says. “They want to be able to go to Minneapolis like they used to and maybe walk the streets.”

He also says voters want to know what the candidates will do to improve education after a critical report out Thursday that says hundreds of Minnesota schools are falling behind.

“We just saw reading and math skills continue to plummet,” Jensen says. “We’ve got less than half of our kids in this state reading proficiently. We used to be proud of our education system.”

Jensen says the best way for Minnesotans to compare the two candidates would be through a series of debates. So far they’ve debated once, but Jensen says Walz hasn’t yet agreed to additional debates.

“I always tell people, isn’t there an election coming up in November? And wouldn’t it be good to have a conversation between the two major candidates?”

5 Eyewitness News will interview Governor Walz at the Minnesota State Fair on Friday.