DFL Gubernatorial Primary Looms Despite Swanson Not Running

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When Attorney General Lori Swanson announced last week she wasn’t running for governor, it appeared there wouldn’t be a DFL gubernatorial primary.

Not so fast.

The day before Swanson made her announcement, at least one of the six DFL gubernatorial candidates said he wasn’t sure if he would “abide” by the DFL endorsement process. Former St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said he “had not made that decision,” leaving open the possibility he might run in a primary should he not get the endorsement.

Rep. Tim Walz quickly shot back, “there will be a primary and I’ll defend my endorsement in it.” Walz has attracted the most campaign contributions of all the candidates — DFL and GOP — who are running for governor and a recent Star Tribune poll showed him leading the pack.

Coleman and Walz were at a candidates forum in Farmington organized by the second congressional district DFL. The other four candidates — State Auditor Rebecca Otto, Rep. Tina Liebling, Rep. Paul Thissen and Rep. Erin Murphy — were also at the forum. They all said they would abide by the DFL endorsement process.

That endorsement process begins on Tuesday when DFLers will attend precinct caucuses. A non-binding straw poll will be taken at 7pm when the caucuses convene. Results of the poll will be available later that evening. However, it is delegates, not the poll that will determine who gets the endorsement. Caucus goers will be asked to vote for delegates who attend a county or Senate District convention. Those delegates will eventually determine who gets the endorsement.

At Saturday’s forum in Farmington, candidates answered questions for nearly two hours. You can watch nearly the entire forum in the above video. A few bits of the forum were not recorded because of technical issues. Those are noted below.

What’s on the video and when:

3:13 – Candidate opening statements

10:42 – Will you abide by the DFL endorsement?

11:41 – How will you address the disparity in pay to women in Minnesota?

23:54 – How do plan to address funding so the quality of a child’s education is not dependent on your zip code?

36:35 – How can we help to keep seniors living in their own homes with access to transportation and social services?

49:33 – What form of health care system do you favor? How do you propose we get there?

One minute answers
1:00:36 – Vocational schools at the high school and post-secondary level need to adapt to technological advances, yet work with limited resources. How can the state better support vocational education to realistically prepare students for good careers?

1:07:32 – Testing currently plays a huge role in measuring educational progress and success. Would you change the current system of testing? If yes, how.

1:13:39 – Climate change is a fundamental threat to society as we know it. The DFL platform contains a carbon fee and dividend policy to reduce carbon emissions by factoring the social cost of carbon into its use. Do you agree that climate change is a fundamental threat even here in Minnesota and do you support this approach to addressing the threat?

1:20:36 – Rural Minnesotans do not have widespread access to high speed internet service that metro area Minnesotans take for granted. Should the state support increased funding for broadband access? Should the internet be treated as a public utility? Why?

1:27:25 – Since we the know the rural areas of Minnesota are trending more Republican, what is your strategy to win those areas?

1:34:23 – How do we insure election integrity and stop voter suppression efforts of the Republicans?

1:40:55 – There is a serious shortage of licensed childcare providers all over the state which impacts families and local employers. How will you address this critical issue?

1:47:37 – Closing comments, two minutes from each candidate.

Video and audio courtesy of Democratic Visions from Southwest Community Television. A video versions of the forum will be broadcast on Democratic Visions on select Twin Cities area cable systems.

Note: a few bits of the recording are missing as we changed out recording media. Times are noted below.

00:27:45- While Tim Walz is speaking “…  calls for an equal quality education for everyone  // break //   so we need to talk …”

00:41:33 - While Tina Liebling is speaking  “… for people to do home care and just give seniors that little bit of health that they need” // break //  “to be able to stay in their homes.”
00:55:28 - While Paul Thissen is speaking  “… we need to vastly expand and improv”e // break //  Resumes while Chris Coleman is speaking “ … it was what Mitt Romney did in Massachussetts …” 
01:48:26 – While Paul Thissen is speaking “That’s what this war is about.  That is what is at stake here.”  //  break // Resumes while Chris Coleman is speaking “ They’re angry because they’re working harder and harder and harder and falling further and further behind  …” 

Audio version of forum:

Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek. More about Michael McIntee »

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