Tim Walz: Build a Minnesota that works for everyone

Published 11:53 pm Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Guest Column by Tim Walz

Tim Walz


Since 2007, I’ve been proud to represent Albert Lea in Congress. As a young teacher and football coach starting out in Mankato, I certainly never expected to end up in the House of Representatives.

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To be honest, I never expected to be running for governor, either. But I’m in this race because the lessons I’ve learned from a lifetime of public service and raising a family in Greater Minnesota have prepared me for the hard work of building a Minnesota where everyone gets a fair shot.

As a teacher, a coach and a soldier in the Army National Guard, I’ve always taught my students, players and soldiers to stand up for what’s right, to not back down from a fight and to treat others with respect. Sometimes, this is easier said than done — especially in Washington! But as I’ve traveled across Minnesota in this campaign and talked to people from all different backgrounds, I’m still convinced these principles are important ones to live by.

There are a lot of people who think the best way to win elections is to pit neighbor against neighbor: urban versus rural, rich versus poor. But that’s not an approach I’m willing to take.   

I’m running for governor because I believe that no matter where they live, every child deserves a great education.  Whether they’re in small rural schools or busy urban classrooms, in neighborhoods that are well-off or small towns that are struggling to get by, our kids deserve the chance to succeed.   

I believe every Minnesotan should have access to quality, affordable health care. That’s why I worked to get a Veterans Affairs clinic in Albert Lea and why I stood shoulder-to-shoulder with locked-out hospital workers on the picket lines and worked to ensure that the local residents’ concerns about the hospital closure were heard by Mayo Clinic.

In short, I believe we must build a Minnesota that works for everyone, not just for those who can afford to write big checks to political candidates. 

That’s why I’ve worked nonstop in Congress to improve Highway 14, to help young farmers and ranchers get their start in agriculture, to stop members of Congress from trading in the stock market with their insider knowledge and to improve services at the VA for veterans who are struggling with depression and PTSD. 

And that’s why I chose Peggy Flanagan as my running mate: a tireless advocate for children and families who, like me, won’t stop until every Minnesotan has an opportunity to succeed, no matter where they live. 

Students in my classroom, players on my football team or soldiers I served with will all tell you the same thing: When there’s hard work to be done, I’m not one to stand on the sidelines. I’m running for governor because I know we can build a Minnesota that works for everyone, and I won’t quit until we’ve achieved it. I ask for your vote in the primary; please vote by Aug. 14.

U.S. House Rep. Tim Walz is a DFL candidate for governor.