Gov. Tim Walz announced Tuesday he will seek re-election to a second term. This sets up an interesting race that will focus on his record and accomplishments.
Walz and his Republican opponents will try to interpret Walz’s record in vastly different ways.
On the state’s COVID response, for example, Walz is touting the state’s actions as life-saving measures that have helped bring the virus under control. Republicans have been painting Walz’s use of executive emergency powers as an abuse of power that damaged the economy and cost people jobs.
On law enforcement reform, Walz is claiming he has helped bring about the first steps toward reform, while Republicans are critical of his slow response to the violence following the George Floyd killing, when a Minneapolis police station was allowed to be attacked and burned before the National Guard was sent in.
Each side has a base of followers who either support Walz and the work of the DFLers in the Legislature, or feel he can’t be thrown out of office too soon.
It will be up to the voters in the middle to decide whether Walz’s record is a benefit or a handicap in this race.