Sparks fly between Walz, Jensen at FarmFest debate

On Wednesday morning, the annual event was highlighted with a gubernatorial debate between Gov. Tim Walz and Republican challenger Dr. Scott Jensen.
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 7:47 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2022 at 7:51 PM CDT
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MORGAN, Minn. (KEYC) - The second day of this year’s FarmFest kicked off Wednesday with organizers saying it is one of the biggest turnouts they have seen in recent years.

On Wednesday morning, the annual event was highlighted with a gubernatorial debate between Gov. Tim Walz and Republican challenger Dr. Scott Jensen.

Both were met with questions related to agriculture and other issues.

One of the first issues discussed was the tension between family farms and large operations.

“This is a false argument that it’s family farms vs. larger operations,” Walz said. “We, in Minnesota, are proving that there’s room for everyone and that the market is going to drive where we go in those solutions.”

”I reject Governor Walz‘s comment that this is a false argument between family farms and operations,” Jensen stated. “This is not a false argument. Over my dead body will Minnesota ever sell farmland to foreign corporations, you can count on it.”

Throughout the debate, Jensen questioned Walz’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Let’s be clear. There is nothing about our response to COVID, in regard to our seniors, our frail, our elderly, our assisted living or nursing homes, that would be a model for the United States,” Jensen commented. “There’s not one.”

As well as public safety issues and his response to the protests that took place in Minneapolis after the death of George Floyd in 2020.

“Had I been in the governor’s office, the National Guard would have been on the street sooner, very clear about this,” Jensen added.

“Having served 24 years in the National Guard, that’s a lot more experience than watching Top Gun: Maverick and second-guessing where our men and women are putting themselves at risk,” Walz emphatically said. “That’s a lot bigger difference. They performed historically and they performed heroically.”

The issues discussed ranged from public safety, unemployment, child care, response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state’s budget surplus, and many other topics.

Minnesota is currently sitting with $7 billion from the budget surplus.

“People expect legislators to get their job done, and I think we should be sent back in special session and told, ‘finish the deal that we already agreed to with $4 billion in tax cuts, $4 billion to help Minnesota, and don’t adjourn until you get it done,’” Sen. Nick Frentz (DFL-North Mankato) said. “I would support that.”

Wednesday’s gubernatorial debate at FarmFest was the first head-to-head debate between the candidates.

Minnesota is holding an election for governor and lieutenant governor on Nov. 8, with a state primary scheduled to take place Tuesday.

FarmFest will wrap up Thursday in Morgan. Visit the event’s website to see a full schedule of events and to find more information.

A full recording of the debate between Walz and Jensen is available here or in the video player above.

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