Walz launches bid in gubernatorial race

Craig Moorhead

The Caledonia Argus

Last week, Minnesota First District Congressman Tim Walz announced his bid to run for governor in 2018. The Mankato Democrat joins several of his party who have already thrown their hats into the ring – seeking a chance to replace retiring DFL Governor Mark Dayton.

“This campaign will be about bringing Minnesota together,” Walz stated online. “Our state is strongest when we unite. Drawing on our rich heritage of hard work, opportunity and boundless optimism, there is no limit to what Minnesotans can achieve when we work together.

Also competing to replace Dayton on the DFL side (as of last week) were St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, State Auditor Rebecca Otto, and state Rep. Erin Murphy (St. Paul).

The governor’s race leaves Walz’s seat in Washington up for grabs. Republican Jim Hagedorn nearly unseated the congressman in 2016, and had announced a fourth try for the First Congressional District seat even before Walz announced his bid for the governor’s chair.

Elected to Congress in 2006, when he unseated six-term Republican Gil Gutknecht, Walz has been described be many as a person willing to “reach across the aisle.” The Luger Center ranked Walz fourth (out of 438 House members) on it’s 2015 McCourt School Bipartisan Index.

Walz is the ranking Democrat on the Veterans Affairs Committee. He is also the highest-ranking enlisted service member in Congress, having retired (in 2005) as a command sergeant major in the Army National Guard after 24 years’ service.

The Minnesota Congressman also serves on the House Agriculture Committee and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

In an interview with the Rochester Post Bulletin, Walz added the following: “I think now more than ever people are just wanting (government) to work. They are not looking for the partisanship. They are not looking for me to have all the answers, but they are certainly looking for me to bring people together to find those solutions that we all know are there.”