Almanac was the site of the first DFL lieutenant governor debate. Margaret Anderson Kelliher’s running mate John Gunyou joined Matt Entenza’s Robyne Robinson and Mark Dayton’s Yvonne Prettner Solon. We started with a question about qualifications, starting with Robinson’s claim that she had covered the Capitol for 20 years. Solon had to answer how she could serve the whole state after representing just Duluth in the Legislature. And John Gunyou told us why DFLers should vote for a guy who’s never held elective office and worked for Republicans. As we’re getting to know them, we asked for little known facts. Solon likes to snorkel. Robinson listens to Tom Jones. Gunyou enjoys remodeling.
But the most talked about part of the show came about 10 minutes later after we allowed long answers on policy questions dealing with health care, the budget and education. As we’ve done for a quarter of century we launched a quick round of yes/no answers. Gunyou pushed back saying it’s “unfair to say yes or no.” Robinson responded “I like being here, so I’ll take yes or no or a roundtable.” I heard from several viewers who thought Gunyou was being vague and appreciated our effort to get him to answer questions. Some thought he was disrespectful to me. Overall, callers and emailers were pretty evenly divided about our approach. Right down the middle is where I like to play it.