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Sen. Gazelka joins governor’s race, attacks Walz on pandemic

By STEVE KARNOWSKI Associated Press
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republican state Sen. Paul Gazelka has joined the Minnesota governor’s race.

He’s accusing Democratic Gov. Tim Walz of failed leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and the unrest that followed George Floyd’s death last summer. Gazelka said at the state Capitol on Wednesday that Walz’s shutdowns bankrupted many small businesses and restaurants, and failed a generation of schoolchildren who fell behind.

Gazelka, of East Gull Lake, was the state’s top elected GOP official until he gave up his post as Senate majority leader last week in preparation for his campaign. Walz told reporters he’s “quite comfortable” with defending his record on the pandemic.

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