Minnesota voters to decide Tuesday who moves forward in governor's race

The state's four major political parties will hold contests to see which candidates advance to the general election in November.

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ST. PAUL — Minnesota voters on Tuesday, Aug. 9, will determine which candidates from the state's four major political parties advance in the contest for governor.

In the primary contests, DFL incumbent Gov. Tim Walz and Republican Party-endorsed candidate Scott Jensen are set to take on perennial candidates from their respective parties.

The two presumptive candidates squared off in a debate Tuesday morning, Aug. 2, taking on issues such as the economy, government regulations and Minnesota's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. And they seemed to set their gaze past Tuesday's primary toward their expected match-up in November.

Walz is set to take on Ole Savior in the Democratic-Farmer-Labor primary, and holds a multi-million dollar fundraising advantage over the frequent candidate for governor and U.S. Senate.

The governor has stood behind the work he's done during his first four years in office, working with a divided state Legislature, navigating the pandemic and response to social unrest following George Floyd's killing and turning a $9 billion state budget surplus. Savior has been relatively silent during the primary campaigning window.


During the hour-and-a-half long debate, Republican candidate Scott Jensen frequently veered from agriculture questions to talk about the state's response to the pandemic.

Jensen will square off against fellow GOP candidates Joyce Lynne Lacey and Bob "Again" Carney Jr.

Jensen, a medical doctor and former state senator, has centered his campaign on "healing Minnesota" from some of the economic and social effects that stemmed from state COVID-19 mitigation measures and overly strict state regulations more broadly.

Lacey said part of her campaign has not solicited donations because she believes elected offices should be earned based on candidate integrity rather than campaign fundraising. She ran a relatively quiet campaign ahead of the primary and took issue with not being invited to join a debate at Farmfest. Meanwhile, Carney Jr. will run "again" — he has previously run for several elected offices, including a most recent bid to replace late U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn in Congress.

Where to vote, when to vote , how to register and more information about the 2022 election for Minnesotans.

He has split from the pack in voicing opposition to former President Donald Trump and calling for Trump to stand trial for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection.

Voters in the Grassroots Legalize Cannabis Party primary and the Legal Marijuana Now Party primary on Tuesday will also decide which candidates could best represent them in the general election.

Before you head out to the polls or fill out your absentee ballot, here's a look at who will be on each party's ticket. Minnesota voters can only vote in one party's primary contest.

Candidate photos:

DFL candidates

  • Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan
  • Ole Savior and Julia Parker

GOP candidates

  • Scott Jensen and Matt Birk
  • Joyce Lynne Lacey and Kent Edwards
  • Bob "Again" Carney Jr. and Captain Jack Sparrow

Grassroots Legalize Cannabis candidates

  • Darrell Paulsen and Ed Engelmann
  • Steve Patterson and Matt Huff

Legal Marijuana Now candidates

  • Chris Wright and L.C. Lawrence Converse
  • James McCaskel and David Sandbeck

Voters can get more information about where to vote and about what will be on their primary ballot on the Minnesota secretary of state's website .


Follow Dana Ferguson on Twitter  @bydanaferguson , call 651-290-0707 or email

Dana Ferguson is a Minnesota Capitol Correspondent for Forum News Service. Ferguson has covered state government and political stories since she joined the news service in 2018, reporting on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the divided Statehouse and the 2020 election.
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