Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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ST. PAUL -- President Donald Trump wants to influence Minnesota's governor race. The winner of the Tuesday, Aug. 14, Republican primary received the president's endorsement and the loser said he failed because he is not on Trump's wavelink. Trump endorsed Republican governor candidate Jeff Johnson Wednesday, tweeting: "Jeff Johnson of Minnesota had a big night in winning the Republican nomination for Governor against a very strong and well known opponent! Thanks for all of the support you showed me. You have my complete and total Endorsement.
ST. PAUL -- Jeff Johnson and Tim Walz will be Minnesotans' choices for governor this fall. "I think we sent a message, people want something different," Republican Jeff Johnson said shortly after 10 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 14, as vote counting wound down in the state primary election. Johnson said he was not for the status quo, and campaigned as the most conservative governor candidate.
ST. PAUL — The 2018 primary election is as different as it gets, with more contests than usual, late surprises and a ton of votes already cast. Republicans are attacking each other in the governor race. U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, the No. 2 official in the national Democratic Party, opted against re-election, instead running for attorney general in a crowded field. Ellison's withdrawal from the U.S. House race led to a six-person race to replace him. Last-minute allegations surfaced against Ellison and Attorney General Lori Swanson, a Democratic governor candidate.
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn.—Minnesotans are interested in the primary election. Almost triple the number of early ballots have been cast compared to two years ago. At Farmfest, southwest Minnesota's agriculture show, 1,000 seats were full, with about 600 more standing as the five major governor candidates were in the only forum to host all of them.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson denies allegations that an aide hired workers in her state office to do campaign work. In a Minnesota Public Radio forum Friday, Aug.10, she said the online news organization that reported the issue is "widely discredited." She said she has sued investors in the The Intercept website, adding: "When you do things like that you get a target on your back"
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. — Political candidates brought their best "Minnesota nice" to Farmfest. But voters should not get used to that. "First time out of the chute, got to be a gentleman," state Republican Rep. Jim Newberger said after his first time on stage with opponent Democratic U.S. Sen Amy Klobuchar, seeking her third six-year term.
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. — Minnesota's two major candidates for a six-year U.S. Senate term make it clear that there should be an urgency to complete a federal farm bill and other work that affects farmers. But U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and state Rep. Jim Newberger showed hundreds in a Farmfest audience Thursday, Aug. 9, that they have plenty of differences about how to get there.
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn.—Minnesota's five major governor candidates bent over backwards to show they are on farmers' side during the first forum with them all. Each told farmers at Farmfest near Redwood Falls about their connections to greater Minnesota, hoping to win votes in the Tuesday, Aug. 14, primary election and the Nov. 6 general election. For Republicans, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty said he was was the farmers' champion when he served before and Jeff Johnson said he grew up in greater Minnesota, so understands the issues.
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn.—Immigration may be one of the biggest partisan divides in Washington, but there appears to be general support among candidates for rural U.S. House seats in Minnesota for a program providing workers to farmers. Democrats and Republicans agreed on the need for the visa program during a Farmfest candidate forum Tuesday, Aug. 7. But they disagreed on many other issues.
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. — Minnesota's U.S. Senate candidates agree trade is important to farmers, but differ when it comes to details. Reactions were varied at a candidate forum Tuesday, Aug. 7. Republican-turned-Democrat Richard Painter's take was: "This trade war is an unmitigated disaster. Farmers will lose their farms over it if we don't turn this situation around." Republican-endorsed Karin Housley assured farmers that she has their back will not let that happen: "I have a direct line to the president."