Governor Candidate Comparison

It is difficult to jump back and forth between the candidates websites to compare their values. This is why we asked the candidates to summarize their positions on different issues. To find out more, visit their websites.

CandidateTim WalzRebecca OttoErin Murphy
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Running matePeggy FlanaganZarina Babernot announced yet
Websitewww.walzflanagan.orgwww.rebeccaotto.comwww.murphyformn.com
Self descriptionPublic service defines Tim Walz. Tim is the highest-ranking enlisted service member ever to serve in Congress, an award-winning high-school teacher, a champion football coach, and a leader in Congress.Rebecca is Minnesota's 18th State Auditor, currently serving her third term. She is the first woman Democrat to be elected State Auditor and the only Democrat ever to be re-elected.I ran for office after I took care of my mom before she died—she had good health coverage but still had to fight with the insurance company to get the care she needed. I have now served as a state representative in District 64A for the past 12 years.
AchievementsServed in the National Guard for 24 years (Command Sergeant Major), Award-winning Teacher, ranking member of house veterans affairs.In 2014, Rebecca was named one of the 15 most influential government auditors in America by the Institute of Internal Auditors. She has also served as president of the National State Auditors Association.I was the Executive Director for the Minnesota Nurses Association, and I teach in the nursing program at St. Kate’s. I served as the Majority Leader in 2013 and 2014 when we passed marriage equality and increased the minimum wage.
BackgroundTim attended Chadron State College and St. Mary's Univ. in Winona, taught high school in China, Nebraska and Mankato, Football coach, US House Representative since 2004.Rebecca has managed a small business, taught science in the public schools, chaired a successful operating levy, and served as a school board member, state legislator, and 3-term State Auditor.I grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin, and I am the daughter of a union auto worker. I started my career as a nurse in a small community and moved to Minnesota to work as a surgical nurse on a transplant team at the U of M Hospital.
ISSUES
Health CareSingle payer is on Minnesota’s horizon. In the short term, we need to ensure every Minnesotan has access to affordable care. We will fight for a strong public health care option by opening-up MinnesotaCare to every Minnesotan.Health care is a human right. Rebecca’s evidence-based Healthy Minnesota Plan will achieve universal, affordable, comprehensive, guaranteed, publicly financed health care.I am a supporter of single-payer and a co-author on John Marty’s Minnesota Health Plan. We should start by opening up MinnesotaCare to anyone who wants it, and contracting directly with providers.
EducationWe will support our educators, work to close the opportunity gap, nix vouchers, and guarantee and fully fund pre-K and K-12 education. We’ll make college 2 years tuition free at MN state institutions (for families earning less than $125k/year).It’s not an achievement gap; it’s an opportunity gap. We must fund affordable childcare and early education, fully fund public education, and stop relying on referendums to fund our schools.We can’t build our bright future without investing in kids. We must close the opportunity gap by investing in early learning, funding full-service community schools, and ensuring our teacher workforce reflects the student population.
EnvironmentWe will protect the environment by expanding the Renewable Energy Standard, reducing carbon emissions, working with farmers on clean water solutions and fighting for energy justice. We will also advocate for tribal rights while assessing projects.Rebecca does not support new pipelines, the Polymet project or Twin Metals. Her Minnesota-Powered Plan will create up to 250,000 good-paying jobs in the clean energy economy, which we can retrain workers for.Climate change is a fundamental threat to Minnesota. We must protect our clean air and our clean water by strengthening our renewable energy standards, reducing carbon emissions, and investing in research to protect our water.
Gun ViolenceWe will fight to prevent gun violence. We support an assault weapons ban, funding research on gun violence and universal background checks. We will fight “Stand Your Ground” bills, allow for gun violence protective orders, and build the coalition to make progress on gun violence.Rebecca is a Moms Demand Action Guns Sense candidate of distinction. She wants to study gun violence as a public health issue and enact common-sense gun control legislation.I’m proud of my “F” rating from the NRA. We’ve lost too many lives to gun violence and suicide by gun. I support banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, requiring universal background checks, and enacting red flag laws.
Money in PoliticsIn Congress, Tim fought to keep money out of politics by co-authoring the STOCK Act, which ensures Members of Congress cannot profit from their office. We oppose Citizens United and will continue the fight against the unlimited corporate campaign spending. Rebecca supports ending Citizens United through amending the constitution and having publicly financed campaigns and full transparency in independent expenditures.The influence of big money on our elections is undercutting the power of Minnesotans to build their bright future. We must pass meaningful campaign finance reform, including the expansion of public financing of elections.
EconomyWe will fight to create an economy that works for every Minnesotan. That means putting working people first, not greedy corporate elites. It also means creating opportunities for small businesses to thrive. We will remove barriers to growth by encouraging equity and inclusion. Rebecca supports raising the minimum wage to $15/hour, and creating a state bank where we could provide access to capital for small business and low interest loans to students.We can create new jobs by expanding broadband, increasing our use of electric vehicles, and repairing waste and drinking water infrastructure. We must support our small businesses and invest in innovation to drive our economy forward.
Worker's rightsWe will stand up for our unions and collective bargaining rights, fully fund the Child Care Assistance Program and will fight for a $15 minimum wage across MN. We will expand safe and sick time laws, and expand paid family leave.Rebecca comes from a union family and was a member of the teachers’ union. Unions are a wall against the politics of greed, and Rebecca will oppose any attempts to roll back collective bargaining.I support unions and expanding collective bargaining. I support raising the state’s minimum wage to a living wage and ensuring everyone has access to paid sick and safe time so Minnesotans can support themselves and their families.
AgricultureWe will work aggressively to expand markets, partner with our farmers to unleash the innovative spirit of MN, support new farmers, invest in agriculture research, support growth of organic & locally grown food, and fight for cleaner water.Rebecca’s focus will be on supporting small farms and using modern farming practices that protect our water. Rebecca will work to ensure farmers have health care through a single payer system.It’s important that we support our farmers while also protecting and restoring the health of our land. I will invest more in the development of perennial crops and continued research at the Natural Resources Research Institute.
Small BusinessWe will lower the cost of healthcare by expanding MinnesotaCare and put workers and small businesses first by fighting for a more progressive tax system, expanding rural broadband and increasing infrastructure funding.Small and local businesses create the economies of the future. Rebecca is committed to increasing the success of our local businesses, banks, and family farmers through her Local Economies Plan.Let’s encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship by supporting Main Street businesses that support our communities, helping young farmers with start-up costs, and investing in innovation that could spur the next sector of our economy.
TaxesWe will fight for tax fairness, so that the wealthy pay their fair share. We will increase (and raise the income limits for) the Child and Dependent Care tax credit. We are also committed to repealing the tax credits that special interests have received, including the tax cut for cigars. As the State Auditor, Rebecca has a track record of assuring accountability and transparency with billions of taxpayer dollars. She supports progressive taxation.I want to make sure that we are able to maintain a balanced budget while also making the investments we need to build a bright future for our state. I would eliminate the 2017 tobacco tax cut to support those investments.
Government debtWe have long said that budgets are moral documents - so are bonding requests. We will push an aggressive bonding agenda to leverage Minnesota’s strong economy and great bond rating to fix our aging infrastructure and make smart investments in our communities.Rebecca supports robust bonding bills to support affordable housing, repair and replace essential civil infrastructure, and maintain our U of M and Minnesota State infrastructure.Our Constitution requires that we balance the budget, and I intend to make sure we do so without short-changing the investments we need to make in education, healthcare, housing, and other areas of critical importance to our state.
Senior CitizensWe value our seniors, and they deserve access to affordable healthcare, safe nursing homes, and assisted living centers. We will make sure that MN does its part for our seniors, fight attempts by Congress and the Trump Admin to cut the programs our seniors rely on. Minnesota has an aging population. To prepare, Rebecca wants to invest in universal single-payer healthcare, public transportation, and affordable housing so our seniors can stay in their communities.I will work to guarantee that our cherished elders have access to the high-quality, reliable, and affordable healthcare they deserve, and I will do all I can to ensure their safety in our nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
VeteransTim served 24 years in the Army National Guard and is the top Democrat on the House Vets Committee. We keep supporting the re-integration program Beyond the Yellow Ribbon. We will provide the resources for our veterans to go to college, get good jobs, and receive the healthcare that we owe them. Our veterans face unique challenges. Rebecca understands that veterans must have access to quality health care (including mental health services), affordable housing, and good-paying jobs.We need to honor veterans by ensuring that they have the housing, healthcare, and resources that they need to build their futures. I will support our veterans by investing our state’s resources to achieve that goal.
National SecurityNational security is a federal issue but in emergency preparedness and response, it crosses state, federal, and international lines. We will ensure that MN collaborates, to ensure that this state is doing its part.This is a federal issue.I will work to support active service members and the guard so that, if needed, they can support and defend us.
InfrastructureWe believe that MN must use its bonding authority to improve our roads and upgrade our public utilities. We also support raising the gas tax to improve our transportation system and expanding transit opportunities in both the metro and rural MN.Rebecca will push for long-term financial planning when it comes to funding and maintaining our civil infrastructure. Rebecca will work to ensure statewide affordable quality broadband access.We must address the roughly $11 billion in needed repairs and updates to our state and local waste and drinking water infrastructure as well as ensure broadband access statewide and repair our roads and bridges throughout the state.
InternetWe support expanding high-speed internet to ensure our rural communities can thrive and support net neutrality and ensure that the internet remains free and open for business, with the privacy safeguards to protect our data.The biggest issue faced by Greater MN is depopulation. Rebecca knows that in order to attract young families, support a robust economy and connect people, communities need affordable quality broadband.I am a supporter of net neutrality, as I believe the repeal of it places corporations and special interests above small businesses and average Americans. We should ensure that the Internet is accessible to all.
ImmigrationOne of the first meetings Tim took as Congressman-elect was in Worthington with an undocumented worker whose spouse was arrested in an ICE raid. We will make sure that our state and local authorities aren’t carrying out broken policies that harm our families and our communities.Rebecca supports separation of powers and states’ rights. She also supports making Minnesota a sanctuary state. Our communities are safer, healthier, and stronger when everyone can access services regardless of their immigration status. Minnesota must be a state where our communities are strong, safe, and welcoming. I support driver’s licenses for all. Our state and law enforcement must not serve as an extension of ICE, nor should our prisons be used as detention centers.
Civil rightsWe will tackle the opportunity and pay gaps in MN, along with racial disparities in our justice system, head on. We will work with communities of color, LGBTQ Minnesotans, tribal nations, and people with disabilities to build a just Minnesota where everyone’s voice is heard.Minnesota has one of the worst racial inequality gaps in the nation and discrimination laws are inconsistently enforced. Rebecca believes that ALL people should be afforded equal rights under the law.Disparities for people of color and indigenous communities in Minnesota are some of the worst in our country. We can do better by tackling health disparities, closing wage and opportunity gaps, and reforming our criminal justice system.
NarcoticsWe support legalizing and regulating marijuana and expunging the records of individuals whose sole offense have been non-violent crimes related to marijuana. We will hold the pharmaceutical industry responsible for their part in the opioid crisis and hold Big Pharma accountable.The war on drugs was a failed policy. Rebecca supports legalizing marijuana, expunging records for nonviolent drug offenders, and releasing people incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses. I support recreational marijuana legalization that includes record expungement and expanding the state’s medical cannabis program. This gives doctors more tools to help people manage pain and would reduce our reliance on opioids.
PoliceEveryone should feel safe and our police should be a part of the solution. We will take a critical look at how our police are trained and how they carry out their jobs. We support de-escalation and implicit bias training for the police. We will ensure that MN offers have the resources needed for the reforms they wish to see.We need to move to a restorative justice model. We need to provide deescalation training, implicit bias training, and work to ensure that all Minnesotans feel safe in their communities.I believe we need to take a critical look at our standards for use of deadly force and increase the threshold as needed. We should ensure that our police force has the training and equipment necessary to protect our communities.

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