Jeff Johnson, Tim Walz debate how to fix state’s shortage of workers

September 19, 2018

What was billed as a debate between the two major party candidates for governor Wednesday turned into a mostly congenial, hourlong discussion about the states shortage of workers and how to address it.

I agree with Jeff mostly on this, said Tim Walz, the DFL candidate for governor, about his Republican opponent Jeff Johnson, who said the state should audit programs to determine if theyre working.

I go back to what Tim mentioned, Johnson said, agreeing with Walz about the need to lift up those who choose a path other than a four-year college degree.

Despite the conviviality at the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce of event, the two candidates laid out different visions.

We have very, very divergent views about the future of Minnesota and the future of Minnesotans, Johnson said in his closing remarks. I believe Minnesotans and Minnesota businesses are overtaxed, and Tim Walz believes we are undertaxed, he said, before reciting a litany of his other issues, including free market health care, immigration enforcement and a work requirement for welfare all of which separate him from Walz.

Walz, who spent more than a year appealing to the most progressive voices in his party, replied with a favorite joke: You failed to tell them Im going to take their puppies, too, he said, drawing laughs from the crowd.

Name calling, divisiveness, anger, all of that, is not going to solve problems, Walz said. He turned to aspirational rhetoric about his biography and bringing Minnesotans together to solve problems.

I wasnt ever going to get into the Harvards. But I sure could get into a great state school and give me a skill set to live the life I wanted and the dream I wanted to dream, Walz said. Thats what Minnesota has been about.

J. Patrick Coolican 651-925-5042

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