Gazelka enters MN governor’s race, attacks Walz on pandemic

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Republican state Sen. Paul Gazelka has announced his long-expected run for governor.

At a state Capitol news conference, he attacked Democratic Gov. Tim Walz for his response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the unrest that followed last summer’s death of George Floyd. Gazelka also faulted the governor for closing down public schools.

Gazelka, of East Gull Lake, stepped down as Senate majority leader last week. He joins a growing field of Republicans seeking to unseat Walz if the governor seeks a second term.

State Sen. Michelle Benson entered the race last week. Former Sen. Scott Jensen has been in the race since March.

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