Democratic Gov. Tim Walz plans to seek a second term as Minnesota’s governor, he announced Tuesday morning.
Peggy Flanagan will be joining Walz on the ticket, despite rumors that the progressive lieutenant governor was thinking of moving on.
Walz is sticking with his “One Minnesota” mantra, according to the campaign ad he released Tuesday.
I’m running for re-election with @PeggyFlanagan to keep moving Minnesota forward. Our fight against COVID isn’t over, but we’ve got the ball and we’re making progress.
Together, as One Minnesota, we can rebuild stronger than before. We hope you’ll join us! pic.twitter.com/B2IaGnCPqF
— Tim Walz (@Tim_Walz) October 19, 2021
This slogan has been relentlessly mocked by Walz’s Republican opponents, who note that the governor has presided over one of the most destructive and divisive periods in Minnesota history.
“Tim Walz’s ‘One Minnesota’ mantra is not an appeal for unity; it is a cover for a coercive, one-size-fits-all approach to governing through more regulation and a bigger bite by government out of hard-working Minnesotans’ paychecks,” said Sen. Paul Gazelka, who is seeking the Republican endorsement for governor.
The former Senate majority leader said Walz has “consistently shown weakness and hesitation in the face of lawlessness and rising crime.”
— Paul Gazelka (@paulgazelka) October 19, 2021
“He is failing to be the independent voice Minnesota needs during one of our most violent years,” added Dr. Scott Jensen, a former state senator who is also seeking the GOP endorsement. “He continues to break his pledge of ‘One Minnesota’ by pitting Minnesotans against each other.”
— Scott Jensen (@drscottjensen) October 19, 2021
Jensen also criticized Walz for hosting his kickoff event in a “virtual setting,” even though he has recently held “in-person fundraising events with his wealthy friends.”
Republican hopeful Michelle Benson, a current state senator, said Walz’s vision of “One Minnesota” was “nothing but an empty promise.”
“Instead, he has brought to St. Paul a divisive Washington D.C. style attitude from his days in Congress,” she said. “In my travels across the state, I continuously hear from Minnesotans that feel unheard and ignored by their governor.”
This election will be a battle of ideas and I look forward to presenting my vision for Minnesota over the next year.
I am a fighter with ideas who knows how to get results. The status quo of Walz-Flanagan has failed and it’s time for new leadership! pic.twitter.com/qxes1HBmAB
— Sen. Michelle Benson (@SenatorBenson) October 19, 2021
Other Republicans seeking to challenge Walz in the general election include Dr. Neil Shah, businessman Mike Marti, and Mayor Mike Murphy.
Walz’s approval rating dropped to 49% last month, down eight points from last year. He cruised to victory in 2018 over Republican Jeff Johnson and has the advantage of the GOP’s 15-year statewide losing streak on his side.