Updated: October 19, 2021 06:18 PM
Created: October 19, 2021 07:13 AM
Tuesday, Gov. Tim Walz officially announced he plans to run for reelection.
In a statement, the governor touted his response to the COVID-19 pandemic and his efforts to revive the economy.
He also made the announcement via a YouTube video posted Tuesday that shows him standing on a football field.
Walz's full statement is as follows:
It has been an honor to serve as your governor. During the unprecedented challenges of the last two years, I've seen Minnesotans from all walks of life come together in order to fight the virus, save lives and get our state on the path to recovery. We're not done yet, but (Lt. Gov.) Peggy (Flanagan) and I are excited to continue that fight with you.
I've dedicated my life to public service. Whether in the classroom, as a football coach, in the National Guard, or as governor, the mission has always been the same; to lead with compassion and look out for those who are too often left behind.
As we rebuild, we must continue fighting for all Minnesotans and work to ensure every child in Minnesota receives a world-class education, that there are good-paying jobs in every corner of the state, and that every family has the opportunity to succeed. That's why we're running for re-election. To keep moving Minnesota forward for everyone and striving towards our vision of One Minnesota.
Walz has drawn criticism from Republicans for shuttering businesses and issuing other statewide restrictions during the height of the pandemic.
The governor is facing a growing list of challengers, including former Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, state Sen. Michelle Benson and former state Sen. Scott Jensen.
In response to Walz's announcement, Gazelka issued the following statement:
Governor Walz has pursued policies disastrous for our state. He has consistently shown weakness and hesitation in the face of lawlessness and rising crime. With COVID, he failed early on to protect the elderly while seriously damaging our economy and society with his overreach. And, except for Republican legislators' principled opposition (which I led for the past three years), Walz's tax increases, irresponsible spending, and wild policy proposals would have ruined our state.
Tim Walz's "One Minnesota" mantra is not an appeal for unity; it is a cover for a coercive, one-size-fits-all approach to governing through more regulation and a bigger bite by government out of hard-working Minnesotans' paychecks.
I look forward to earning the Republican endorsement for governor so I can bring an end to Tim Walz's bad governorship, just as I defeated his worst ideas in the legislative arena.
Meanwhile, Benson issued a response via Twitter:
This election will be a battle of ideas and I look forward to presenting my vision for Minnesota over the next year.— Sen. Michelle Benson (@SenatorBenson) October 19, 2021
I am a fighter with ideas who knows how to get results. The status quo of Walz-Flanagan has failed and it’s time for new leadership! pic.twitter.com/qxes1HBmAB
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