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October 24, 2022
15 Days and Counting Until Election Day

As election day approaches, it is common for candidates to face off against each other in a series of debates hosted by local communities or news organizations.  This remains true for the 2022 election cycle.  However, this year will feature the fewest number of gubernatorial debates since 1998 with Democrat incumbent Gov. Tim. Walz and his Republican challenger, former state Sen. Scott Jensen, only set to meet in person on three occasions. 

Debates are generally an opportunity for candidates to more sharply contrast their policy positions against their opponents and provide potential voters with a filtered image of themselves.  In 2018, Gov. Walz debated the Republican nominee Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson on six occasions.  Jensen and Gov. Walz had one debate in August of this year, a second one on October 18th, the third on October 23rd, and their final debate will be on Friday, October 28th. 

Last week’s debate in Mankato saw the candidates spar on a variety of issues, including health care, public safety, and climate change.  Former Sen. Jensen criticized Gov. Walz on his handling of the 2020 riots following the death of George Floyd and accused Gov. Walz of being “lazy” in his administration’s investigation of Feeding Our Future, the nonprofit organization accused of an alleged $250 million in misused federal dollars which has, to date, resulted in roughly 50 federal indictments.  Gov. Walz questioned Jensen’s ability to credibly address the growing number of opioid deaths, citing purported history of prescribing medications at a higher rate than his peers. Despite divergent stances on almost every issue the two candidates did manage to find common ground on one topic – sports betting, with both Gov. Walz and Scott Jensen expressing their willingness to legalize the activity. 

On Sunday, October 23rd, candidates for Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State were invited to participate in a back-to-back broadcast debate at St. Paul College, an event that was dubbed “Debate Day.”  While the debates between incumbent Democrat Attorney General Keith Ellison and his Republican challenger Jim Shultz and incumbent Democrat Secretary of State Steve Simon and his Republican challenger Kim Crocket went off as expected, Gov. Walz declined to participate in Sunday’s debate leaving Jensen with 30-minutes of question-and-answer time with debate moderators.     

Election Guide:

Will all 201 state legislative seats up for election on November 8th, 2022, along with all four constitutional office and eight seats in Congress, the Larkin Hoffman government relations team has been working hard to follow the key contests that are set to determine the political landscape for the next biennium. This Election Guide provides an in-depth overview of all key races featured in the 2022 election cycle.   

Key 2022 Election Dates

  • Nov. 7 - Last Day for In-person Early Voting
  • Nov. 8 - General Election  
The Larkin Hoffman Government Relations Team
    Margaret Vesel

Matthew Bergeron

Peter Coyle
Bill Griffith
  Grady Harn  Megan Knight
Peder Larson

  Robert Long
Gerald Seck 
Brandan Strickland

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This newsletter is provided as a service to our clients and firm associates. While the information provided in this newsletter is believed to be accurate, it is general in nature and should not be construed as legal advice.