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Gazelka announces run for Minnesota governor

Plus: Walz laments patchwork of school masking regulations; Ramsey County attorney will no longer prosecute felony cases stemming from stops for minor traffic violations; and more.

Former Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka announced his bid for Minnesota governor on Wednesday morning.
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

There it is. The Star Tribune’s Briana Bierschbach reports:Former Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka is jumping into the Republican field for Minnesota governor, hoping his role as the lone conservative blockade to Democrats in state government during the pandemic is enough to unseat DFL Gov. Tim Walz next fall. … Gazelka, a four-term senator from East Gull Lake, announced his run on Wednesday surrounded by supporters at the Minnesota Capitol, where he’s spent the last five years leading the Republican caucus in the Senate.”

Speaking of the governor, WCCO’s Caroline Cummings reports: “Gov. Tim Walz welcomed students back to school Wednesday morning at Jefferson Elementary School in Rochester. … Kids under 12 aren’t yet eligible for the vaccine, like many kids at the school. And although masks are required in this district, that’s not the case everywhere. … Walz says he is concerned about a patchwork approach to schools but says he has no plans to instill another state of emergency, which would give him the powers that allowed for mask mandates.

Policy change in Ramsey County. The Pioneer Press’ Mara H. Gottfried reports:Ramsey County Attorney John Choi no longer will prosecute most felony cases that result from traffic stops for minor violations, according to a Wednesday announcement. … The new policy will be ‘aimed at fundamentally changing the use of non-public safety traffic stops by police, which typically occurs when a motorist is stopped for an equipment violation to seek evidence of a more serious crime,’ the county attorney’s office said in a media advisory. ‘These types of stops disproportionately affect black and brown communities and undermine the trust in the work police do every day to serve and protect the public.’”

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