Catharine Richert

MPR: Rep. Walz says he's considering run for governor in 2018

Feb 24 2017
Catharine Richert

After a Rochester town hall meeting that stretched to three hours, U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, a Democrat, said that he expects to make a decision about a 2018 gubernatorial run by April.

Walz said representing southern Minnesota for the last decade gives him the right experience for the job.

"This rural, urban divide has to end. Being a Democrat and progressive in a more conservative area, and still having support from folks — I think that bodes well. So I'm going to take a look at it," Walz said.

The congressman from Mankato would join the Democrats who have already announced they're running: St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, State Auditor Rebecca Otto and state Rep. Erin Murphy. The field is expected to grow.

During the town hall, Walz was peppered with questions from a large, but mostly friendly crowd about fixes to the Affordable Care Act and the Trump administration's immigration policies.

Walz was asked if he would be willing to work with Republicans on making changes to the ACA, also known as Obamacare.

"For the good things that happened in the ACA, there were legitimate failings that left people in this community with outrageously high costs that they could not afford," Walz said. "Whether the ACA caused that or not, it certainly didn't fix it."

Walz said he would be open to keeping some aspects of Obamacare, including making sure people with pre-existing conditions aren't denied coverage.

Photo by Jerry Olson, MPR News

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