MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — DFL candidates fought Friday to convince voters that they should be Minnesota’s next governor.
The top Democrats squared off in a debate on Minnesota Public Radio just four days before the primary.
Each of the candidates viewed the debate as a sort of “job interview.”
State Rep. Erin Murphy, U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, and Attorney General Lori Swanson covered a number of topics.
But the debate started with Swanson going on the defensive.
The online site “The Intercept” ran articles this week that allege Swanson used her staff to do political work, and rewarded those who did with higher pay.
She denied the allegations at the start of the debate.
“Anybody who gets raises or promotions in the office gets them based solely on merit and based upon their work responsibilities,” Swanson said.
Each candidate gave Gov. Mark Dayton high marks.
They talked about immigration reform, clean water, mining, and being pro-choice candidates.
When it came to gun control Murphy, who received the DFL endorsement, said she is proud of her “F” rating with the NRA.
“We can make real progress on background checks with no exceptions, on red flag laws, on banning the future sale of assault weapons in the state of Minnesota,” Murphy said.
Walz, an avid outdoorsmen, says responsible gun owners are needed to make change.
“As a parent, I just want to get this done. As an avid outdoorsmen, I want to do this in a manner that respects that 2nd Amendment right but with common sense legislation,” Walz said.
Swanson spoke about prosecuting gun violence during her time in office.
“I would absolutely make sure our schools got more money to make them safer and secure the buildings,” Swanson said.
While it remained mostly respectful, the candidates did challenge each other.
“The fact is, this year, Congressman Walz has missed 63 percent of his votes in the U.S. Congress,” Swanson said.
“I’m disappointed that Lori chose to go down the low road,” Walz said.
“They are really tired of the politics we are listening to from the Attorney General and the Congressman,” Murphy said.
In their closing remarks, Swanson talked about growing Minnesota from the middle out, not the top down.
Walz talked his military service and about being a coach and teacher while standing up for public school teachers and students.
Murphy spoke about health care, what she called common-sense gun reform, and clean air and clean water.