MINNESOTA
     Nov. 8, 2022 Governor

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+Tim Walz/Peggy Flanagan (DFL) i
1,312,349
52.27%
Scott Jensen/Matt Birk (R)
1,119,941
44.61%
James McCaskel/David Sandbeck (LMN)
29,346
1.17%
Steve Patterson/Matt Huff (GLC)
22,599
0.90%
Hugh McTavish/Mike Winter (I-A)
18,156
0.72%
Gabrielle M. Prosser/Kevin A. Dwire (SW)
7,241
0.29%
write-ins
1,029
0.04%

2,510,661

Pre-Registered Voters: 3,562,753.  Election Day Registration: 141,095
Plurality: 192,408 votes (7.66 percentage points).

  MN Secretary of State -Elections




Notes:
Gov. Tim Walz (DFL), seeking a second term, defeated Dr. Scott Jensen (R) as well as James McCaskel (LMN-Legal Marijuana Now), Steve Patterson (GLC, Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis), Dr. Hugh McTavish, PhD (Independence Alliance), and Gabriele Prosser (Socialist Workers).

As with governors in other states, Walz drew significant and sometimes poignant criticism over the effects of lockdowns and other restrictions introduced to combat COVID-19.  He argued the measures saved lives and allowed the economy to recover.  Jensen, a prominent COVID skeptic, argued that Walz had failed; "he locked down businesses, he locked out kids, he locked in frail elderly," Jensen said.  During the course of his campaign, Jensen released nine 10-point plans covering subjects from the rural economy to education.

Walz and Jensen debated before a large crowd at Farmfest, the annual agribusiness show held in Redwood Co. near Morgan, on Aug. 3 (>); at KTTC-TV studios in Rochester on Oct. 18 (>); and at the Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul on Minnesota Public Radio on Oct. 28 (>).

Both campaigns closed with bus tours—Walz and Flanagan on a Minnesota DFL "Get Out the Vote" tour and Jensen and Birk on a "Heal Minnesota" tour.


The Walz-Flanagan campaign had a significant fundraising advantage in the race. 
As of Oct. 24, 2022, the Walz campaign reported total expenditures of $8.6 mllion and ending cash balance of $721,674 compared to total expenditures of $4.9 million and ending cash balance of $338,785 for the Jensen campaign (>).
 
The third party candidates were an interesting assortment, but achieved meager results.  The Legal Marijuana Now Party ran an active, low-budget campaign.  James McCaskel and David Sandbeck won the Aug. 9 primary by 1,461 votes (51.86%) to 1,356 votes (48.14%) over Chris Wright and L.C. Lawrence Converse.  McCaskel's Twitter
bio states, "(Pronoun)-Nigro, Nigga, Thug || Youngest & First Black Major Party Candidate For Governor Of MN ||Grassroots Community Organizing."  Sandbeck is a project manager.  They knocked on doors throughout the summer and general election.  McCaskel and a team of four or five focused on Minneapolis and Sandbeck and his team of five focused on Saint Paul.  Together, Sandbeck estimates they knocked on 80,000 doors.  The Legal Marijuana Now Party had a booth at the State Fair.  They also sought to reach nontraditional voters through banner ads on adult websites, which was risky but very inexpensive.  This did drive 80,000 unique visitors to the party's website, but it is not clear if it succeeded in turning out voters.  In November the ticket fell short of achieving the 5-percent needed for the party to maintain ballot status, although the party have one more shot in 2024.  All told the campaign budget totaled about $3,000.

The Grassroots – Legalize Cannabis Party repudiated its nominee Steve Patterson, the winner of the Aug. 9 primary, declaring,
"Patterson is not a legitimate candidate but rather is an impostor, a self-identified 'hijacker' who does not deserve the nomination (+)."

Dr. Hugh McTavish, Ph.D., the standard bearer of the Independence-Alliance party, is an immunologist and patent attorney.  In his campaign McTavish advanced several unconventional ideas including "jury democracy" and "governing with the goal of happiness, not GDP growth."  In addition to 18 scientific journal articles, he has authored three books—Ending War in Our Lifetime, Wild Plants of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Area, and, most recently COVID Lockdown Insanity, which analyzed the cost and harms of the lockdowns.

Rounding out the field, the Socialist Workers Party ticket of Gabrielle Prosser and Kevin Dwire qualified for the November ballot by gathering over 2,000 petition signatures during the two-week period leading up to the May 31 filing deadline.

The Field Takes Shape: Conventions and Aug. 9 Primaries
Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan announced their re-election bid in an Oct. 19, 2021 video "Goal Line Stand" (+).  Walz/Flanagan won the Aug. 9 primary with 96.5% of the vote against perennial candidate Ole Savior. 

Seven major Republican candidates sought to challenge Walz. [primary literature]  At the state GOP convention in Rochester on May 13-14, 2022, delegates endorsed Jensen on the ninth ballot.  In the Aug. 9 primary Jensen/Birk tallied 89.3% of the vote against two candidates.

Jensen, a family physician from Chaska, was elected to the State Senate in 2016 but announced in July 2019 that he would not seek re-election (>).  In 2020-21 he gained notoriety for downplaying the seriousness of the COVID pandemic and the effectiveness of vaccines and for criticizing lockdowns, mask mandates and vaccine passports.  In Sept. 2021 he proposed making Minnesota a "health freedom sanctuary state (>)." Jensen announced former Minnesota Viking Matt Birk as his running mate on Mar. 8, 2022 (>).

Also of note, former radio host Cory Hepola launched a third party Forward Party of Minnesota bid on Mar. 1, 2022 (>) but ended his campaign on May 31, writing that "the polarization driven by the Democratic and Republican parties make it unlikely that 2022 will be the breakthrough year."




Campaign Managers:
Tim Walz:  Nicole Johnson
Southern federal and gubernatorial director at EMILY's List, Apr. 2019-Apr. 2021.  Political desk-IE at DCCC, Apr.-Dec. 2018.  Campaign manager on Delgado for Congress, May 2017-Apr. 2018.
Campaign manager on Heinz for Arizona, July-Nov. 2016.  Campaign manager on Steve Williams for Congress, Nov. 2015-June 2016.  Campaign manager on Buchwald for Delegate, May-Nov. 2015.  Finance director on Patrick Henry Hays for Congress (AR), Jan.-Nov. 2014.  Finance director on Friends of Farinholt (Newport News, VA), May-Nov. 2013.  Finance director on Friends of John Callahan, Feb.-May 2013.  Finance assistant on Kreitlow for Congress, July-Nov. 2012.  Studied at University of Pennsylvania.

Scott Jensen:  Angela Cooperman
(Mar. 2021)  Also started Valkyrie Strategies LLC political consulting firm in Mar. 2021, and is a real estate agent for eXp Realty since July 2021.  Political director on Jason Lewis for U.S. Senate, Jan.-Nov. 2020.  Finance director for the Republican Party of Minnesota, Sept. 2019-Jan. 2020.  Director of development and partnerships at Spare Key, Nov. 2018-July 2019.  Constituent services representativeto U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis, Apr. 2017-Nov. 2018.  Studied at St. Petersburg College and Eckerd College.
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