Former state Sen. Scott Jensen to announce run for governor

Sen. Scott Jensen, R-Chaska
Former Sen. Scott Jensen, R-Chaska.
Bakst, Brian

Former state Sen. Scott Jensen intends to run for Minnesota governor next year.

Jensen served one term as a Republican representing the Chaska, Minn., area. The lawmaker didn’t seek a new term but gained more attention than many of his colleagues last year for casting doubt on the impact of COVID-19. Being a family doctor, conservative media elevated his skepticism. 

Jensen hasn’t said whether he’ll seek the Republican endorsement or try to wage a campaign outside of the party apparatus. He has worked with third parties on measures to expand their ballot access.

Through a spokesperson, he declined a request for an interview ahead of his official launch next week.

DFL Gov. Tim Walz is likely to seek a second term. 

Democrats have labeled Jensen a COVID-19 denier who shouldn't be trusted.

“We deserve honest leaders that will help us get through this pandemic, not quacks like Scott Jensen,” said DFL Party Chair Ken Martin. “The last thing Minnesotans need is someone like failed one-term state senator Jensen anywhere near the governor’s mansion, especially during times of crisis.”

Several prominent Republicans have said they are considering campaigns, including Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and 8th District U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber. 

Only one candidate, Lexington, Minn., Mayor Mike Murphy, has formally announced. 

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