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Johnson, Walz stress rural roots in gubernatorial debate



WILLMAR, Minn. (AP) — The two major party candidates for governor are debating over who would best represent greater Minnesota communities outside the metro areas.

Republican Jeff Johnson and Democrat Tim Walz both stressed their rural roots during a debate in Willmar Tuesday night. Johnson is a Hennepin County commissioner from Plymouth who grew up in Detroit Lakes. He says he wants to ease the burden of state government regulations in rural areas.

Walz is a Mankato resident who has spent the past 11 years representing southern Minnesota in Congress. Walz says he doesn’t travel to greater Minnesota, he wakes up in it. He stressed the need to work together for world-class education, affordable health care and a healthy transportation system in Minnesota.

The two are seeking to replace DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, who is not seeking re-election.

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