Walz, Jensen debate agriculture and COVID in first Minnesota governor debate

The Farmfest forum got heated and repeatedly veered back to the pandemic


August 4, 2022

Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

GOP candidate for governor Scott Jensen (left) and DFL Gov. Tim Walz talked before the Farmfest forum.

MORGAN, Minn - DFL Gov. Tim Walz and Republican opponent Scott Jensen stressed their rural roots and tussled over the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic and the future of the state's workforce in the first debate in their race to be Minnesota's next governor.

The candidates went head-to-head at the annual agriculture exposition Farmfest, debating for more than an hour in front of a standing-room-only crowd. While questions focused on their plans to help farmers and rural areas thrive, the conversation repeatedly veered back to COVID-19, with the candidates trading sharp remarks over their responses to the pandemic.

"Let farmers farm; let miners mine; let teachers teach, and let government get the hell out of the way," said Jensen, who criticized Walz for shutting down classrooms and businesses at the beginning of the pandemic and for his response to the riots in Minneapolis after George Floyd's killing.



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