EXCLUSIVE: Scott Jensen is optimistic as he runs for governor

America is in "a dark place that is not sustainable," but Jensen remains optimistic and even "invigorated."

Dr. Scott Jensen presides over the Minnesota Senate. (Minnesota Senate Media/Facebook)

Dr. Scott Jensen doesn’t want to be governor. And he hates politics.

Those are unusual qualities for a former state senator who just completed a 12-city, five-day tour across northern Minnesota to promote his campaign for governor.

But Jensen said holding executive office was never on his bucket list; it’s something he feels “compelled to do.”

“People ask me, ‘why do you want to be governor?’ I say, ‘I never said I wanted to be governor,’” Jensen told Alpha News. “I don’t like politicians, and I don’t like politics. I’m not looking for a new career path.”

Jensen was ready to leave politics after his one term in the Minnesota Senate, largely because of his wife’s health complications.

“We’re extremely grateful that we’re living with a walking miracle in our household because Mary had four major surgeries in 18 months’ time, and she is feeling better now than she has in a decade,” he said. “My wife and I feel compelled to do this.”

Alpha News sat down with Jensen in the middle of a shocking political scandal that brought down the chair of his party. On the other side of the globe, America was entering the final stages of defeat in its 20-year war in Afghanistan.

Closer to home, talk of rising crime and COVID-19 mandates continued to dominate the discussion.

America is in “a dark place that is not sustainable,” Jensen conceded, yet he remains optimistic and even “invigorated.”

“I would say that on the campaign trail, what I am seeing is better news,” he said, referencing a campaign stop in Virginia that attracted 400 guests.

“We spent two hours there. 400 people came. It felt like a rally. It felt like America is awakening. And when I say awakening, I mean nothing to do with woke. I am talking about an awakening. Americans, Minnesotans, they are meeting the moment,” Jensen remarked.

“Am I disappointed our media, our social media, our bureaucrats, our career politicians, our establishment politicians would tell us that this is what we have to think about, this is the world we have to accept, this is the new normal? I am so disgusted with them. I am so insulted with their crap. I’m telling them: I’m not buying what you’re selling, and I’m going to pave a new path. It’s going to be a path that did the same thing President Trump did. We’re going to trailblaze issues,” he added. “And we’re not going to apologize for the fact that we are willing to die for our freedom. If this is our own 21st century fight for independence, then bring it on, darn it, because this is a harrowing place for us to be.”

COVID candidate 

Jensen was a relatively obscure state senator until March of last year, when his skepticism of the government’s response to COVID-19 catapulted him to social-media fame. But that popularity has come with consequences, including four investigations into his medical license by the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice.

Jensen thinks the board “needs to be reformed” to avoid political abuse by anonymous accusers. He doesn’t believe any of the complaints against him have come from patients.

“I think it’s important to recognize that the Board of Medical Practice itself, I think, has awareness that they don’t like to be used as a weapon of political motivation. I think the Board of Medical Practice would like to see change so that they don’t have to treat all complaints equally, so that they would have the discretion to be able to say, ‘this is politically motivated. We are dispensing with it,’” said Jensen, who is “furious” that the Legislature failed to resolve the issue.

“I’m disappointed that this most recent legislative session, the Health and Human Services Committee didn’t do what they said they were going to do. I know executive members of the Board of Medical Practice would have welcomed that conversation. It did not happen, and I think another thing to know about the Board of Medical Practice is that approximately three-fourths of its members are governor appointees each cycle, so you have to know at some level it is possible, if not likely, that the Board of Medical Practice will have its own political flavor,” he added.

Jensen speaks to a crowd of supporters during a July campaign stop in Hastings, Minnesota. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Scott Jensen)

One of Jensen’s new concerns is the prevalence of vaccine mandates among Minnesota employers, a policy that he thinks is “immoral.”

“So what would I recommend? Hold off as long as you can because I still have some level of optimism that we’re going to recognize one day, hopefully soon, that the Delta variant is less lethal, that the Delta variant is more transmissible, that the Delta variant doesn’t present the shortness of breath, the deep cough, the fever,” he said.

He also encouraged employees who are at risk of losing their jobs to “document, document, document.”

“And I would save the documents because in my mind a day of accountability will occur where we will audit — lawsuits, class action suits. Someday, we will find some of the things that have been done to be forgivable. But, nevertheless, do some form of recompense, because right now people are being put in an impossible moral dilemma: violate your core convictions so you can pay your family’s bills,” said Jensen. “I just am horrified.”

Drawing from Benjamin Franklin and C.S. Lewis, Jensen grew frustrated when discussing the loss of freedom under public health dictates.

“Folks, we are literally violating the principles of our Founding Fathers when they spoke to a need to be willing and ready to recognize that we need to live with the principle of, if you will, dangerous freedom versus being a slave to some sort of perceived safety,” he said. “In the book Chronicles of Narnia, the beaver is asked the question, about Aslan, is he safe? Heavens no, he’s not safe, but he’s good. Is liberty safe? No, it’s not safe right now, but it’s good. And it should be the highest good. It’s above safety.”

The ABCs of public safety 

But this freedom comes with laws, Jensen observed.

“When you think of crime, first off we need to recognize and inform people that freedom isn’t a place without laws. That’s just anarchy,” he said.

Jensen has developed an “ABCs of public safety” to address what is expected to be a major campaign issue in 2022.

“One, appreciate what your peacekeepers do,” he said. “Appreciate the fact that they put their lives on the line.”

Jensen shakes hands with an Edina police officer during a Fourth of July parade. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Scott Jensen)

The next step is to support police departments in their efforts to “build out to match the needs of the community.” That doesn’t mean he opposes police reform, he explained.

“We don’t have to use hyper-politicized hot-button terms like white supremacy or systemic racism. We can just call them for what they are: they’re unfairnesses. Let’s deal with those. Let’s stop the B.S. lightning-rod statements and just talk about unfairnesses,” Jensen said.

The final element of his plan calls for an end to “catch-and-release policies.”

“It works fine for walleyes, but it doesn’t work for felons, who are going around shooting and having kids killed because of bullets deflecting off of buildings. Catch and release is a big part of the problem,” Jensen quipped.

He said he’s talked with Minneapolis residents who are hesitant to cooperate with police investigations because they know the guilty parties will be “back on the streets in two or three months.”

Jensen is hopeful that his message will resonate with independents, suburban women, and even some “conservative Democrats.”

“I am interested in saying Republicans, conservatives, can we dispense with the cannibalism? What about winning?” he said. “Let’s solve public safety, school choice, and secure elections. Let’s stop being narrow-minded. Let’s stop doing what we’ve always done before that got us 25 losses in a row. Because if you’re willing to lose 26 for your ideology by drawing a line in the sand and putting your head in the sand, then go for it, but I’m not your candidate.”