Former Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka Announces Gubernatorial Bid

Paul Gazelka


Former Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-East Gull Lake) announced his gubernatorial bid on Wednesday morning. Gazelka stepped down from his position as majority leader last week, as a precursor to his campaign for governor.

As reported by The Minnesota Sun, “Gazelka has held the majority leader position for five years. His letter, announcing his stepping down from the position, listed his accomplishments. He said that, ‘These accomplishments were possible because we stuck to our principles and communicated directly with the people of Minnesota.’”

A tweet from Gazelka said, “It’s time for a new direction in Minnesota.”

Gazelka is the sixth candidate to announce his intentions to run for Minnesota governor. He joins Dr. Neil Shah, Dr. Scott Jensen, Mike Murphy, Mike Marti, and State Representative Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake).

During the press conference announcing his bid, Gazelka was critical of Walz for shutting down businesses and schools during the COVID-19 pandemic and also blamed him for the outbreaks that took place in nursing homes. He also took issue with Walz’s response to the riots and violence of the last year following the death of George Floyd, saying that in his opinion, Walz did not move quickly enough to restore law and order.

Gazelka’s campaign website says, “It started with Tim Walz’s abuse of executive powers. He shut down businesses, closed our schools, and mismanaged nursing homes and long-term care facilities. It continued with his absence of leadership during the riots and his careless statements against our National Guard, police and peace officers.”

He said he has “proven leadership” and his list of past accomplishments is his “resume.” He wrote, “Together let’s change the course of history in Minnesota.”

According to his campaign website, Gazelka’s three main issues are public safety, the economy, and education. He says that one of his biggest priorities is public safety.

His website reads, “People in Minneapolis, St. Paul, the suburbs, and across the state are asking us for safer streets and communities. Shutting down the police is not the answer.”

He also briefly touches on the economy, saying that “Everyone in Minnesota deserves to prosper with a robust economy that offers jobs with dignity, personal fulfillment, and the opportunity for all people to support themselves and their families.”

He said that the government needs to stop “over-taxing” and “over-burdening” entrepreneurs.

Gazelka also appears to support school choice. His statement on education reads, “Parents deserve fair choices for their children’s education, especially if those children are in failing schools.”

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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].
Photo “Paul Gazelka” by Paul Gazelka. 







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