Kendall Qualls announces run for Minnesota governor
Former congressional candidate Kendall Qualls is running for Minnesota governor.
State of play: Qualls joins a full field of Republicans vying to take on DFL Gov. Tim Walz in November.
- Candidates include former Senate leader Paul Gazelka, Sen. Michelle Benson, physician Neil Shah and Scott Jensen, a physician and former senator.
What he's saying: In a statement released Sunday, Qualls described a state at a "crossroads," saying "the radical left has morphed the culture of the country where it is not recognizable."
- "We are not going to be the generation that lost the America that we have known and loved," he said.
Bio in brief: Qualls, an Army veteran and former executive at medical device and pharmaceutical companies, lost to DFL Rep. Dean Phillips in the suburban 3rd Congressional District in 2020.
- He went on to found a new organization, TakeCharge MN, to "[counter] the prevailing narrative in popular culture that America is structured to undermine the lives of Black Americans."
Between the lines: A GOP candidate hasn't won statewide office in Minnesota since 2006.
- Some Republicans argue recent polling numbers for Walz and President Biden show opportunity to change that in the upcoming midterms.
What to watch: Minnesota Republican Party delegates will gather in May to endorse a candidate.
- The head start other candidates have had in courting delegates could be a challenge for Qualls.
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