Physician and former legislator Scott Jensen sat down with Alpha News Monday for a wide-ranging discussion. The 66-year-old Republican, who served one term in the Minnesota Senate, announced in March he’s running for governor. In the past year, Jensen has gained national recognition for his views on the COVID-19 pandemic, his independent nature, and commonsense conservatism.
Alpha News (AN): What are the three biggest issues facing Minnesota?
Scott Jensen (SJ): Safety, students and secure elections.
Minnesotans have never felt so unsafe in public and private venues, including their own homes. My commitment is to protect all Minnesotans.
The tide is turning for lockdowns, since they don’t do what they purported. That’s why I signed the Great Barrington Declaration.
Locking out students, while locking in nursing home residents, denies people the right to live and dream. Wearing a mask should not seem less a priority if you’re rioting than in church.
Securing our elections will rebuild trust between government and its constituents.
AN: What has Gov. Walz done that hurts our state?
SJ: He’s undermined our sense of public safety. Minneapolis is unlikely to bounce back simply because he gives an impassioned speech. He likes control, and too often his message is I’m No. 1. Walz has fractured relationships across the board; it’s hard to trust someone who behaves as a power monger. He’s made a lot of legislators appreciate their time working with [former Minnesota Gov.] Mark Dayton.
AN: How can your medical experience help you as the state’s chief executive?
SJ: Great question. In my life’s work, I’ve learned second opinions are not a rip on my abilities. We are trained to be skeptical, and I am comfortable with people being skeptical. I don’t like groupthink. I prefer asking someone to independently confirm. I find it best to take a 30,000-foot view, whether in diagnosing or in surgery. It can be heart-wrenching to be a family doctor since you can devastate a patient’s life with bad news. Because of my medical experience, I think I am equipped to be a voice for all Minnesotans, articulating their fears, anticipating their questions, and leaving them with some element of hope.
AN: What do you think of the current direction of the GOP?
SJ: We can and should celebrate a commitment to safeguarding the constitution and the values of community connectedness. We must also challenge ourselves to confidently debate the hard issues. This means having bold conversations about our constitutional rights. When we don’t drive the conversation, we look like we are frightened; then silly ideas raised by the left get elevated. Bad ideas should be labeled as such.
AN: Which governors today do you admire?
SJ: Ron DeSantis and Kristi Noem have both shown remarkable courage in challenging conventional narratives. They deserve praise for being innovative and taking on challenges. Noem charted her own course, while DeSantis is pushing through the wall of liberal cancel culture. Their impact has spilled over to leaders in other states. The true definition of a leader is someone with followers.
AN: How is your campaign going so far?
SJ: In just five weeks, we’ve added some 10,000 additional people to our email blasts, reaching over 40,000. We have over 700 door knockers and more than 3,000 donors, many of whom are first time and from different parties.
Our campaign is behaving like a tsunami, moving us in the direction we want to go. We’ve received responses from all over the country and the world, including heartfelt letters. I am excited to kick off our fundraising season this week.
A.J. Kaufman is an Alpha News columnist. His work has appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Florida Sun-Sentinel, Indianapolis Star, Israel National News, Orange County Register, St. Cloud Times, Star-Tribune, and across AIM Media Midwest and the Internet. Kaufman previously worked as a school teacher and military historian.