Walz to Democratic presidential candidates: ‘Get here as often as you can’

Governor Tim Walz reflects on his first year in office as Minnesota's governor. (FOX 9)

Gov. Tim Walz encouraged more than a dozen Democratic presidential candidates to campaign in Minnesota frequently before the state’s March 3 primary, saying it would help the party’s chances in the battleground state for the November election.

In a wide-ranging interview this week, the DFL governor reflected on his first year in office, outlined his top priorities for 2020. Among the highlights:

•    Walz said his bonding proposal, which he has said will be around $2 billion, will be his top agenda item this year. The package includes a series of road, bridge, water quality, and low-income housing projects. But Republicans are already balking at the price tag.
•    Walz also said legislation allowing underinsured diabetics to get emergency insulin regardless of their ability to pay would remain a top priority. The issue unexpectedly became one of the most divisive of 2019.
•    The governor said he wanted a re-do on the debate over funding transportation projects, after GOP lawmakers rejected his proposal to increase Minnesota’s gas tax by 20 cents per gallon. Walz said he would “reset the discussion” in the coming year.
•    Walz said he “hasn’t even thought about” whether he’ll run for a second term in 2022, adding that he would give it consideration after 2020.
•    He said the Democratic candidates on Minnesota’s presidential primary ballot should “get here as often as they can” ahead of the March 3 election. Early voting starts Jan. 17.
•    The governor said he would do “whatever I can” to help U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar get the Democratic nomination. Walz is scheduled to campaign with Klobuchar next week at a Minneapolis rally, and said he was open to doing more in Iowa, where she has staked her campaign to a good result.