Dr. Scott Jensen sat down with Alpha News Friday afternoon to reflect on his unsuccessful campaign for Minnesota governor.
“I knew at the frontend that it was going to be a monumental task. I knew it would challenge me in ways I could not anticipate. But things happened that I could never have guessed and those things, 90 percent of the time, were absolute blessings,” said Jensen, exhausted from two years of campaigning. “I can feel that the gas tank is a little depleted.”
The former state senator said the endorsement process was the biggest obstacle to running a successful campaign in the general election. Prior to COVID-19, Jensen was known as somewhat of a moderate who took liberal positions on health care and gun control.
“It’s literally like running two different campaigns. To get the endorsement, you’re speaking to an audience of Republicans, many of whom reside pretty close to the goal line,” he said.
“So many of the positions that you will take in that first election to get the endorsement don’t sit well during that second election to win in a general election,” he added.
Jensen said he can understand why some Minnesotans may be tempted to relocate. Many conservatives viewed this election as the best opportunity in years for Republicans to break their statewide losing streak. That didn’t happen. Instead, Democrats now control the whole of state government.
“What would you say to the person who’s inclined to relocate their business or relocate themselves? Prior to Nov. 8, I was inclined to plead with people: please hold off. Let’s let the election take place. There are better times coming,” he said.
“I don’t know what’s coming. What is coming is not what I anticipated. I hope that I’m surprised by what happens. But I have grave concerns about the role of government in our lives, the lack of accountability,” he added. “I think family and friends, business and roots, job security, will keep the vast, vast majority of Minnesotans here, but we will lose folks.”
Jensen thinks Minnesota “is in for challenging times” but concluded with a message of hope.
“I know that the sun’s going to rise tomorrow morning and somewhere along the line millions of Minnesotans, myself being one of them, will say: ‘OK, it’s time to change the trajectory of our course. We need to do it differently,’” he said. “I’ll be a part of that movement and that movement will hopefully be a magical moment for Minnesota, but I do believe we’re going to have to wait a while.”