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Where Minnesota candidates stand on the issues

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Stickers and pins that read
Stickers and pins that read "I voted" sit in a basket at the Ramsey County Elections Plato Building in St. Paul, Minn. on Aug. 13, 2018.
Lacey Young | MPR News

Minnesotans are voting in one of the most important elections the state has held in many years. Here is where the candidates stand on the important issues we face as a society.

GOVERNOR — Johnson, Walz

Democrat Tim Walz, Republican Jeff Johnson.
Lacey Young | MPR News and Derek Montgomery for MPR News

Jeff Johnson, Republican:
  • Immigration: He wants to stop refugee resettlement in Minnesota and wants local police to work with federal immigration authorities, or ICE.
  • Health care: He wants Minnesota to leave parts of the federal health care law and boost competition on the insurance market. 
• Taxes: He wants to lower income taxes for all people. 
  • Jobs/economy: He wants to cut government regulations to help the economy. 
  • Education: He wants to allow greater choice in education and pay teachers based on their performance.
  • Environment: He says plans to address climate change wouldn't be effective. 

Tim Walz, Democrat:
  • Immigration: He says local police should not need to enforce federal immigration law and kids brought to the U.S. without documents should have protection. 
  • Health care: He wants a public health care option available to all. 
  • Taxes: He wants to help lower taxes for low- and middle-class people and increase local government aid. 
  • Jobs/economy: He supports labor unions and spending on infrastructure for housing and transportation. 
  • Education: He wants preschool for all and full funding of schools.  • Environment: He wants more renewable energy and less pollution.

SENATE — Klobuchar, Newberger

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and her opponent Rep. Jim Newberger.
Democrat Amy Klobuchar, Republican Jim Newberger.
Mark Zdechlik | MPR News, Derek Montgomery | MPR News

Amy Klobuchar, Democrat:
  • Immigration: She wants a path toward citizenship for people in the country without documents. 
  • Health care: She's focused on lowering the cost of health care and prescription drugs. 
  • Taxes: She wants to make taxes simpler and have tax money pay for infrastructure improvements. 
  • Jobs/Economy: She wants to emphasize exports and loosen regulations on small business.
  • Education: She wants government support for college and trade schools, and considers education an investment in the economy. 
  • Environment: She supports clean energy and higher federal pollution standards. 

Jim Newberger, Republican:
  • Immigration: He supports the Mexican border wall plan and wants immigration reform. 
  • Health care: He wants to repeal the current health care law.
• President Trump: He supports the president and his praised his diplomatic efforts. 
  • Taxes: He wants lower taxes and a simpler tax code. 
• Jobs/Economy: He wants to keep jobs in Minnesota by reducing regulations on small businesses.
  • Education: He has voted for recent Minnesota state education policy.
  • Environment: He denies scientific conclusions on climate change.


U.S. Sen. Tina Smith (left) and state Sen. Karin Housley
Democrat Tina Smith and Republican Karin Housley.
Mark Zdechlik | MPR News

Tina Smith, Democrat:
  • Immigration: She wants people brought to the U.S. as kids without documents to get help becoming citizens. 
  • Health care: She wants a system where all people get health insurance, funded by taxes.
  • Taxes: She wants tax rates that help working families.
  • Jobs/Economy: She wants to advocate for fair trade policies, and make sure men and women are paid equally for the same work. 
  • Education: She wants strong public schools and more mental health services in schools.
  • Environment: She wants more renewable energy and stronger pollution rules.

Karin Housley, Republican:
  • Immigration: She says federal immigration police are critical in securing borders.
  • Health care: She wants a market-driven health care system.
  • Taxes: She favors lower taxes and less government spending overall. 
  • Jobs/Economy: She wants to cut regulations on businesses.
• Education: She wants to rid of some federal education rules and give local schools more power. 
  • Environment: She wants environmentally friendly policies that don't hurt business. 


Jim Hagedorn (left) and Dan Feehan.
Republican Jim Hagedorn, Democrat Dan Feehan.
Photos by Jerry Olson for MPR News

Dan Feehan, Democrat:
  • Immigration: He supports a pathway to citizenship for law-abiding immigrants. 
  • Health care: He wants universal health care coverage. 
  • Taxes: He says tax rates should help the middle class more than the wealthy. 
  • Jobs/Economy: He supports a strong farm economy and improvements to transportation infrastructure. 
  • Environment: He supports renewable energy and fighting climate change. 

Jim Hagedorn, Republican:
  • Immigration: He wants the U.S. to stop participating in refugee programs. 
  • Health care: He wants to repeal the current health care law in favor of "free-market solutions."
  • Taxes: He wants a simpler tax code that everyone can understand.
   • Jobs/Economy: He says it's not government's role to create jobs; it's to create an environment for businesses to make jobs.
   • Environment: He says some pollution regulations are bad for business and supports all forms of energy. 


Democrat candidate Angie Craig and Republican incumbent Jason Lewis.
Democrat Angie Craig, Republican Jason Lewis.
Evan Frost and Regina McCombs | MPR News

Angie Craig, Democrat:
  • Immigration: She wants a pathway to citizenship for many immigrants and wants the U.S. to process asylum claims.
   • Health care: She wants a public health insurance option for all people. 
  • Taxes: She supports lower taxes for the middle class and a simpler tax code. 
  • Jobs/Economy: She wants simpler regulations and lower taxes for small businesses.  
  • Education: She supports more early childhood education and two years of free college tuition. 
  • Environment: She supports a fee for companies who pollute the atmosphere with carbon.

Jason Lewis, Republican:
  • Immigration: He supports a wall along the Mexican border and wants local police to enforce federal immigration law. 
  • Health care: He believes the government should get out of health care. 
  • Taxes: He has supported lower taxes and lower government spending.
   • Jobs/Economy: He believes less government regulation means more jobs.   
  • Education: He wants to give local schools more authority and boost focus on technical colleges. 
  • Environment: He denies scientific conclusions on climate change.


3rd Congressional district candidates Dean Phillips and Erik Paulsen
Democrat Dean Phillips, Republican Erik Paulsen.
Images by Lacey Young | MPR News

Dean Phillips, Democrat:
  • Immigration: He wants pathways to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants.
  • Health care: He wants a public health insurance option. 
  • Taxes: He opposes the current tax law, saying it favors the wealth. 
  • Jobs/Economy: He believes in helping the middle class to build the economy. 
  • Education: He wants more diverse teachers and expanded early childhood education.
  • Environment: He supports a fee for companies who pollute the atmosphere with carbon.

Erik Paulsen, Republican:
  • Immigration: He supports a merit-based immigration system and more border security. 
  • Health care: He wants to repeal the current health law and increase competition among insurance companies. 
  • Taxes: He favors the current tax law, saying it helps businesses.
   • Jobs/Economy: He believes in supporting businesses to build the economy.
  • Education: He supports charter schools, which operate privately on government money.
  • Environment: He's unsure how to deal with climate change. 


Rep. Betty McCollum, Greg Ryan
Democratic Betty McCollum, Republican Greg Ryan.
Tony Saunders | MPR News

Betty McCollum, Democrat:
  • Immigration: She supports a pathway to citizenship for some immigrants.
  • Health care: supports the current health care law and wants a public insurance option added.
  • Taxes: She opposes recent tax cuts and says they'll make for more economic inequality. 
  • Jobs/Economy: She says the government should make a "fair playing field" for workers and businesses. 

Greg Ryan, Republican:
  • Immigration: He says the U.S. should fully enforce existing immigration laws.
  • Health care: He advocates for more choice in health care insurance options.
  • Taxes: He supports deeper tax cuts.
  • Jobs/Economy: He says it's the private sector's role to create jobs.  


Ilhan Omar and Jennifer Zielinski
Democrat Ilhan Omar, Republican Jennifer Zielinski.
Omar by Tim Nelson, MPR News | Zielinski courtesy of the campaign

Ilhan Omar, Democrat:
  • Immigration: She wants to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), create a pathway to legal status for all undocumented people, and accept more refugees.
  • Health care: She supports a public health care system funded by taxes.
  • Taxes: She wants to end tax cuts for wealthy Americans.
   • Jobs/Economy: She wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour nationwide.
  • Education: She supports federal funding for universal preschool and help with child care for working families.

Jennifer Zielinski, Republican:
  • Immigration: She supports enforcing current immigration law.
   • Health care: She wants to fix the current health care law.
  • Taxes: She supports low taxes across the board.
  • Jobs/Economy: She supports the current Republican-led economic policy. 
  • Education: She says families should have "true choice" in education. 


6th Congressional District candidates Ian Todd (left) and Tom Emmer.
Democrat Ian Todd, Republican Tom Emmer.
Courtesy of Ian Todd's campaign | Brett Neely for MPR News

Ian Todd, Democrat:
  • Immigration: He wants to make it easier to become a citizen. 
  • Health care: He supports a public health care system funded by taxes.
  • Taxes: He opposes cuts to the corporate tax rate. 
  Jobs/Economy:  He says unions are crucial for the working class. 
  • Education: He supports subsidized child care and more funding for public schools.
  • Environment: He wants more investment in clean energy. 

Tom Emmer, Republican:
  • Immigration: He supports increased vetting of people entering the U.S.
  • Health care: He wants more choice of health insurance options. 
  Taxes: He advocates for lower taxes for individuals. 
  • Jobs/Economy: He says more global trade could boost the economy.
   • Education: He supports more choice and local control of schooling.
   • Environment: He advocates for fewer regulations on pollution. 


Collin Peterson and Dave Hughes
Democrat Collin Peterson, Republican Dave Hughes.
Via WikiCommons

Collin Peterson, Democrat:
  • Immigration: He supports increased vetting of people entering the U.S.
  • Health care: He advocates for bipartisan health care reform. 
  • Taxes: He's critical of the new tax law for not helping middle-class people. 
  • Education: He supports moves to recruit and retain teachers in rural areas.

Dave Hughes, Republican:
  • Immigration: He wants a Mexican border wall and funding cuts for sanctuary cities. 
  • Health care: He wants to repeal the current health care law and increase competition among insurance companies. 
  • Taxes: He supports lowering taxes and reducing government spending. 
  • Education: He wants to cut the federal education agency and give parents more school options.


Joe Radinovich and Pete Stauber
Democrat Joe Radinovich, Republican Pete Stauber.
Steve Kohls | Brainerd Dispatch and Derek Montgomery for MPR News

Joe Radinovich, Democrat:
  • Immigration: He supports a pathway to citizenship for people in the country without documents.
  • Health care: He supports a public health care system funded by taxes.
  • Jobs/Economy: He says infrastructure investments and paying fair wages will help the economy.
  • Environment: He supports copper-nickel mining in the Iron Range, but only if companies meet all environmental standards.

• Pete Stauber, Republican:
  Immigration: He says border walls are necessary in some places.
  • Health care: He wants a free-market health care system. 
  • Jobs/Economy: He wants to support small business to keep young workers in the region. 
  • Environment: He wants copper-nickel mining on the Iron Range as fast as possible.