U.S. Rep. Tim Walz says voters must continue to have access to their elected representatives as he held a "Congress on Your Corner" event at a Mankato grocery store Friday afternoon.
The Free Press in Mankato reports that dozens showed up for the Friday meeting at Mocol's Super Market. Three-term Democrat Walz has previously met with the public at southern Minnesota supermarkets, but Friday's event was an open tribute to Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords -- who was shot Saturday at a similar event in Tucson.
Walz said there was no additional security in place for his appearance, adding that politicians need such events to hear voters' concerns.
"I need them to be there. I can not do this job without them. I learn and hear things," said Walz during an interview with MPR's All Things Considered. "Every time you do one of these events -- the congressman on the corner, in the grocery store -- you leave with a renewed sense of the specialness of our democracy and the incredible responsibility of your job."
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison was scheduled to hold a similar event Friday from 5pm - 7p.m. at the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis.
(MPR's Tom Crann and The Associated Press contributed to this report)