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Jeff Johnson shocked the Minnesota political world Tuesday with a commanding victory in the Republican primary for governor, while U.S. Rep. Tim Walz won a three-way race in the DFL primary, setting up a clash of starkly different visions for the state’s future.
Johnson, a Hennepin County commissioner, derailed former Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s bid to win back his old job. Pawlenty had been widely seen as the front-runner thanks to much higher name recognition from his two previous terms in office, and Johnson overcame a vast fundraising disadvantage with a message of change and by courting supporters of President Donald Trump.
Government - Minnesota - Hardworking - Men - Women
“We have given the government of Minnesota back to the hardworking, forgotten men and women of this state, and you all helped,” Johnson said, gesturing at the jubilant crowd at his primary night party in Plymouth, where he lives.
Walz, who spent 24 years in the National Guard and 20 years as a teacher, celebrated with a raucous crowd of supporters at the Carpenters Union Hall in St. Paul: “I see that beautiful cross-section that is Minnesota and unending possibility that is sitting in this room,” Walz said, his face reddened after pumping fists on his way out to Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down.”
Walz - Mankato - Biography - Minnesota - Ties
Walz, who is from Mankato, promised to use his biography and greater Minnesota ties to form new coalitions that could break through the gridlock that has crippled state government in recent years, on issues like taxes and the opioid epidemic. “If we take the state and bind it together, there’s nothing we can’t do. Nothing we can’t do,” he said.
Walz defeated state Rep. Erin Murphy and Attorney General Lori Swanson, bouncing back after losing the DFL endorsement at the state convention in June to an energetic Murphy campaign.
Jeff - Johnson - Supporters - Watch - Party
Jeff Johnson greeted his supporters at the watch party at Lucky's 13...
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