Democrats Walz and Simon under fire for ducking debates

A recent poll found 85% of Minnesota voters think it is important for candidates to debate face-to-face before the election. 

Gov. Tim Walz, left, and Secretary of State Steve Simon.

Gov. Tim Walz and Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon are facing backlash after they both declined to participate in a televised debate on TPT Almanac.

According to MPR and TPT Almanac host Cathy Wurzer, Simon was scheduled to participate in a debate Friday with Republican challenger Kim Crockett but canceled at the last minute, citing a scheduling conflict.

“We can’t remember the last time a candidate agreed to a debate then changed their mind. Our long standing tradition on TPT Almanac of having the last gubernatorial debate of the election was upended when Gov. Tim Walz wouldn’t agree to appear with Dr. Scott Jensen. Not a good trend,” she added.

As Wurzer noted, a recent KSTP/SurveyUSA poll found 85% of Minnesota voters think it is important for candidates to debate face-to-face before the election.

An MPR article from earlier this week said the Walz campaign has declined debate offers from TPT, KSTP, and KARE 11.

Jensen and Walz have only debated once so far this cycle — at FarmFest in August. The governor has agreed to two more debates, one on a group of Greater Minnesota TV stations and another on MPR. Neither will be in front of a live audience. According to MPR, this is the first time in 40 years where Twin Cities TV stations won’t have a debate.

“Steve Simon bailed on a debate with his Republican opponent Kim Crockett just days after a Democrat group announced millions of dollars in spending on the race. Steve Simon and the rest of his party are following the lead of Gov. Tim Walz,” said Minnesota GOP Communications Director Nick Majerus. “Walz has refused multiple debate requests and delayed more debate appearances until well after early voting began. The Democrats are ducking debates because they can’t defend their record of failure.”

Attorney General Keith Ellison has not debated his GOP opponent Jim Schultz. State Auditor Julie Blaha participated in one debate at the State Fair with Republican Ryan Wilson.


Anthony Gockowski
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Anthony Gockowski is Editor-in-Chief of Alpha News. He previously worked as an editor for The Minnesota Sun and Campus Reform, and wrote for the Daily Caller.