Former Republican congressional candidate Kendall Qualls has announced that he will be running for governor of Minnesota.
Qualls made the announcement at a Liberty Tea Party Patriots meeting Thursday night in Champlin, Minnesota. He said he’ll be filing to run for governor in the coming days.
Video footage of his speech was captured by Alpha News.
“I’m a unique story. My life is a living case study that the American dream and the promise of America is alive and well,” he said. “And I’m going to use it and ram it down their throats.”
As Qualls explained in a commentary for Alpha News, he spent part of his early childhood with his mother “in drug and gang-infested Harlem” in the late 1960s after his parents divorced. Three years later, he moved to a trailer park in Oklahoma with his father in the early 1970s.
He went on to serve in the U.S. Army before launching a successful career in corporate America.
“I’m not exceptional. I live in an exceptional country. I serve an exceptional God. We raised our kids in the Christian faith to be responsible citizens and to serve others less fortunate than themselves,” he said.
Qualls ran against incumbent Rep. Dean Phillips in 2020 for his seat in Minnesota’s Third Congressional District, but lost by roughly 50,000 votes, 44.3% to 55.6%.
He said he’ll be making a couple changes to his gubernatorial campaign, particularly an approach that emphasizes offense more than defense.
“No more defense,” he said. “It’s all about offense. We’re going to do offense all the time.”
BREAKING: Kendall Qualls announced tonight that he will be running for governor of Minnesota. pic.twitter.com/ROGtFidT5D
— Alpha News (@AlphaNewsMN) January 7, 2022
Qualls fueled speculation of an upcoming gubernatorial campaign after he stepped down from TakeCharge, a nonprofit he founded in 2021 that seeks to develop a “new movement in the black community to return it to its cultural roots of faith, family and education.” His wife, Sheila, now serves as TakeCharge’s executive director.
The new gubernatorial candidate is also known for his strong opposition to critical race theory (CRT). In a Fox News interview last May, Qualls called CRT a “full-throttle indoctrination program” that weaponizes younger generations against the founding principles of America.
“Are we perfect? Show me one country that is. But it is by far the best country for all people from different backgrounds in the world,” he said Thursday night.
“If you love that flag and you love the country for which it stands, you have no greater ally, you have no greater friend than me,” he added. “If you have an issue with that flag or this country, if you believe it is evil or systemically racist, you have no greater enemy than me.”