Ex-Minnesotans explain why they left: ‘It just felt like it blew up’

Three women who left Minnesota for Arizona, Florida, and Texas explain what pushed them to move on this week’s episode of “Liz Collin Reports.”

Jenna Turton talks to Liz Collin on "Liz Collin Reports."

Last year, almost 20,000 residents moved out of Minnesota and established residency elsewhere. Three women who have moved in recent years joined “Liz Collin Reports” to discuss their reasons for leaving and encourage others to do the same.

From July 2021 to July 2022, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Minnesota lost 19,400 residents to domestic migration, a number higher than any single year in the past three decades.

Megan McCormick and her husband moved to Arizona in August 2019 because they were “sick of the political arena” in Minnesota.

McCormick said it was “heartbreaking” to watch from afar as Minnesotans turned on the police after the death of George Floyd.

She used to work in downtown Minneapolis, but she wouldn’t want to work there now.

When she comes to visit family and has to go to Minneapolis, she said she never goes at night and keeps her head on a swivel.

She was attracted to Arizona because of the state’s open-carry laws and the support for police.

“If a crime happens, people are able to defend themselves, and the police support them with that,” McCormick said.

Candice Jones is now a Florida resident but grew up in Stillwater, Minn., and raised her family there as well.

A former employee of the St. Paul Police Department, she now lives in a conservative area of Florida.

The people in Florida aren’t “as tied to their politics,” Jones said. “You can express your political views, you can have a sticker that says you support Biden or a sticker that says you support Trump.”

When selling her house in Stillwater, one family wrote to Jones that they wouldn’t be putting in an offer after noticing a Trump 2020 sticker in her teenage son’s bedroom.

The attitude towards law enforcement after the George Floyd riots was a deciding factor for Jones’ family.

As a female officer in St. Paul when she began her career, Jones said she worked overnight shifts and patrolled the streets alone, and she felt safe talking to people on the street at 2 a.m.

“There was a level of respect that’s no longer there,” she explained.

She said her daughter lost friends because of her support for the police.

There are people in Minnesota, and in the neighborhood she raised her family, who “refuse to interact with you as a member of the community” because of political beliefs or support of the police, Jones said.

Jenna Turton is a Minnesotan-turned-Texan. Her husband is a native Texan, and when Minneapolis and St. Paul took a turn for the worse in 2020, she quickly decided it was time to move south.

“It just felt like it blew up,” Turton said, referring to the 2020 riots and lockdowns in Minnesota.

Empty businesses and streets in the cities were “an open invitation for lawlessness,” she said.

She lived in St. Paul and loved it, but she didn’t feel safe leaving her apartment starting in the summer of 2020.

“I wouldn’t even go out on Sunday at 2 p.m. to run,” she said. “I didn’t want to go to the farmer’s market. I didn’t want to leave.”

She called the police department three to four times a week, sometimes because people were fighting outside her door or overdosing in the street.

On days when she encountered cops responding to calls, she felt safe to run errands and leave her apartment.

Turton said living in Texas is like a “deep sigh” and “peaceful.”

“Minnesota was so obsessed with [race issues],” she said.

All three women shared no regrets about moving.



Rose Williams
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Rose Williams is an assistant editor for Alpha News.