The Democratic field of candidates for Minnesota governor is growing as First District Congressman Tim Walz jumped into the race Monday. Carleton College political science Professor Steven Schier says Walz is a major contender and probably the strongest of currently-declared D-F-L candidates. Schier says, “The big challenge for Walz is to make himself better known in the Twin Cities suburbs and also in Minneapolis and Saint Paul proper.” He adds Twin Cities Democratic activists are among the most liberal in the country and the question is, will they find Walz sufficiently liberal for their tastes?
No high-profile Republicans have jumped into the race for governor yet, but we asked Schier, what if the matchup is Walz versus Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt? “The suburbs are always the swing element in state politics, and it really will depend on what issues are important to suburbanites,” he says. “Are they concerned about high taxes? That would help Kurt Daudt. Are they concerned about health care? That would probably help Tim Walz.” But Schier stresses it’s very hard to predict this early how the suburbs will swing.
Here’s the entire interview: