In response to the Community Voices commentary by Carlisle Ford Runge on July 6, I take issue with calling the Republican-endorsed candidate for governor, Jeff Johnson, the “faceless” candidate. The candidate who is, in fact, faceless this time around is Tim Pawlenty, who refuses to show up to any public forum or debate, electing instead to attend only a few hand-selected private fundraisers for mega-donors and rely on his previous office for name recognition.
Johnson, in contrast, has traveled around the entire state visiting every county. He underwent the rigorous endorsement process and came out as the grass-roots candidate chosen by Minnesotans, not D.C. and Wall Street elites. Additionally, Johnson has not only identified many issues in Minnesota, but has published proposed solutions to them and talked about them to voters and the press. In contrast, IF you can track down Pawlenty to ask him about any issues, he very rarely is willing to answer the question directly or propose any solutions. On his website he does identify a few issues, and offers a couple of solutions to them, but it is scarce in comparison to Johnson’s website.
In summary, Jeff Johnson is the only candidate whose face is ever seen in person by voters, is accessible to the media anytime, and isn’t afraid to answer questions directly, even in debates attended otherwise only by Democrat candidates! Pawlenty is the “faceless” candidate in this race and maybe it’s because he is afraid to face the thousands of Minnesotans who participate in the caucus process to endorse their desired candidate, those thousands whose opinion Pawlenty decided doesn’t matter, evident by his deciding to skip the process and run as a “Republican” anyway.
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