Gubernatorial race comes to Rochester with DFL Healthcare Debate - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Gubernatorial race comes to Rochester with DFL Healthcare Debate

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -

As the gubernatorial race picks up, candidates are now getting to voice their stances to the people.

Tuesday night, five DFL candidates were in Rochester for one of their first official debates.

DFL candidates to replace Governor Mark Dayton include St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, Rochester State Rep. Tina Liebling, State Rep. Erin Murphy of St. Paul, State Auditor Rebecca Otto, State Rep. Paul Thissen of Minneapolis and U.S. Rep. Tim Walz. 

The name of the game was healthcare.

There were a few themes that united them all.

They say healthcare is a human right, that mental health needs to be given more importance and vaccines are necessary.

The candidates didn't disagree with each other too much, for example a majority of them said they supported a universal healthcare model, or a way to get everyone on Minnesota care.

As for dealing with the opioid epidemic, many of them agreed that the main way to get to a solution would be finding other ways to deal with pain, but only Liebling suggested legalizing marijuana for personal use.

"I think there were a lot of great ideas and I think they all understand that it's an ever moving environment"Jamie Williams, a member of the audience and healthcare professional, said. "You heard a lot tonight about how they felt that, most of them were comfortable saying that they thought healthcare was a right in this country."

Part of the night was devoted to answering audience member's questions, including what their way of dealing with the Albert Lea-Mayo Clinic situation would be. 

The Republican candidates will be having a healthcare debate of their own on Monday the 23rd at 7 p.m. at the RCTC Heintz center.

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