. (Photo by Glen Stubbe/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS/Sipa USA)

Transcript: Tim Walz's opening and closing statements at the Greater Minnesota Debate

"This state can do anything when we choose to decide that we are ’One Minnesota.’ "

October 10, 2018 - 4:17 am
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Congressman Tim Walz and Jeff Johnson debated Tuesday night in Wilmar around issues affecting Greater Minnesota.  The event broadcast live on WCCO Radio and was moderated by Chad Hartman and Blois Olson, the full audio can be found here.  As the race enters its final stretch, we're also publishing the opening and closing statements of each candidate. 

Below are those of Tim Walz — Jeff Johnson's statements can be found here.

Tim Walz—Opening Statement

Thank you to Jeff for running a great campaign. And thank you to our host tonight for having this special thank you to all of you who are here and those listening. Thank you for believing that we can still self-govern together. Thank you for believing that there's things that when we do together when the state comes together there is nothing that we can't do. I'm Tim Walz I'm a public schoolteacher from Mankato. I'm a football coach. I'm a husband to Gwen who's a 30-year-educator in Mankato and I'm dad to Hope who is a senior at Maine West and Gus who's a sixth grader at Dakota Meadows Middle School in Mankato. I wore the uniform of this nation for 24 years and I've had the privilege for the past 12 years to serve the people of southern Minnesota in the United States Congress. And together we've written well two and a half farm bills will get this last one done together. We've worked and improve the care of our veterans. We've worked together to improve infrastructure. We tried to make things where government is more transparent and we make sure that we're making people see their government as a reflection of themselves.

And I've done that together by building coalitions by bringing people to the table by making sure that we set our sights high and we don't talk about what we can't do. We talk about what we can do. When I started this campaign and started traveling just like Jeff across this and meeting people in their homes and in their businesses and on the streets and in armories and VFW is the one thing that was apparent — the "Can do" Minnesota spirit is alive and well. We understand what happens when government breaks down. We understand we pit neighbor against neighbor. It holds us back from accomplishing the things we need to. So that theme that emerged during this —One Minnesota—we're stronger together that we're not going to divide on economic levels. We're not going to divide racially we're certainly not going to divide geographically because when the Twin Cities thrives Greater Minnesota thrives and when Greater Minnesota thrives, so does the Twin Cities. That attitude about working together to solve problems is about building better communities so I thank you all for being here. Look forward to the questions tonight and again appreciate your belief that we can do this together. 

Tim Walz—Closing Statment

Thank you and to each of you and to the listeners out there spending a rainy Tuesday night doing something that literally billions of people around the world could only dream of coming together as free men and women too to determine how we'll govern ourselves. To believe that it's not a term to bandy around—the government. We are the government, for the people by the people. 

You know that you live here and you feel it in Minnesota. This place is different whether you were born here whether you moved here whether you immigrated here whether you were resettled here. This place is different because we've always understood that was at the core of it was our people that investing in our people makes all of the difference and it's the people of Minnesota that have not just changed this state we've changed the world. It was Minnesota blood that was spilled at Gettysburg that preserved the union. It was Minnesota iron that forged the tanks that liberated Europe. It was Minnesota innovation and Norman Borlaug that spurred the Green Revolution. It's Minnesota medicine that is leading the world. Your neighbors cared deeply about this state regardless of where their politics are. Solutions have always come out of this state. 

This is not a state that fears the future. This is a state that creates the future and what's holding us back is this idea that we have to think small. We have to retreat behind walls. We have to try and find ways to split us off or divide. That's not Minnesota. I believe deeply in my core. I saw it in that classroom. I saw it in that uniform and I've seen it for the last year and a half in coffee shops, in houses in factories. This state can do anything when we choose to decide that we are "One Minnesota." So I thank you for coming out here. I would be honored to earn your vote and let's make Minnesota continue to be a one Minnesota that the rest of the nation looks to lead. Thank you.