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Olmsted County Republican, DFL parties react to Gov. Walz's re-election campaign

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ROCHESTER, Minn. - It's official: Democratic Gov. Tim Walz is launching his campaign for a second term.

In a Youtube announcement, Walz says he's made the tough calls necessary to beat back the pandemic and revive the economy.

It's an announcement that's been expected for some time and it's no surprise it's receiving mixed reviews.

Olmsted County's DFL Senate District 26 says while it's been a tough time to be a leader in Minnesota Walz has shown he's ready to take on a second term.

Chair Mark Liebow said, "He's stepped up to it and done a really wonderful job. He's led, not just with the pandemic, but other areas that kind of get overshadowed by the pandemic. He's worked on education, trying to get relief to farmers who have been hurt by drought and dealing with the forest fires in the north."

On the other side of the aisle, the Republican Party of Olmsted County believes it's time for new leadership.

Chairman Chris Brandt said, "We need someone who does not allow Minneapolis to get burned down by riots and waiting multiple days before calling in the National Guard. We need someone who doesn't want to use taxpayer money to pay for the $500 million in damage that caused. We need someone who supports the police."

Brandt says early Republican candidates like former State Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and former State Sen. Scott Jensen are better options for governor.

He added "There are at least six that have announced. The endorsement process begins in February so it will be a very interesting time to find who is the best candidate to run against Tim Walz."

Liebow is still hopeful the incumbent governor's track record will prove him worthy of another four years to enact change.

"For most people, they're going to want to know what's going to happen in the next term if we reelect you," he said.

A statistic in favor of the incumbent governor is that there hasn't been a Republican to win statewide office in Minnesota since Gov. Tim Pawlenty was reelected in 2006.

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