Jeff Johnson (R)
Jeff Johnson (R)
Tim Walz (D)
Tim Walz (D)

Created by the Campus Election Engagement Project, a nonpartisan effort to help college and university administrators, faculty, and student leaders engage their schools in the election. Key sites consulted included,,,, and public candidate statements. For guides to local races, see from the League of Women Voters and For more detailed information visit their pages.

Visit and to volunteer. Other candidates for governor include Josh Welter (L) & Chris Wright (Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party). Due to limited space, we can only include responses if candidates poll over 15%, but encourage you to check out his website. To download a printable pdf version of this guide, click here.

 Abortion: Mostly ban or mostly legal?

Johnson – Ban. Believes in the sanctity of human life from conception.  Wants a “heartbeat bill,” banning abortions at about 6 weeks of pregnancy.

Walz – Legal. Believes in a woman’s right to choose, & will continue this support as Governor.

Campaign Finance: Require political ads to disclose their largest funders?

Johnson – Unknown.

Walz – Yes. Co-sponsored 2012 DISCLOSE Act, requiring full disclosure of independent campaign expenditures.

Campaign Finance: Support Citizens United decision, allowing unlimited political donations from corporations & unions?

Johnson – Unknown.

Walz – No. Disagrees with Supreme Court decision that lifts limits on corporations’ & unions’ spending in US elections.

Climate Change: Consider climate change a critical threat?

Johnson – No. Says climate is changing naturally and human involvement is debatable.

Walz – Yes. Sees climate change as real and urgent.

Climate Change: Should the government limit the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere?

Johnson – No. Believes that a single country’s efforts to mitigate climate change would have only a “small effect” & “we don’t need to reorder our economy based on climate change.

Walz – Yes. Supported legislation to restrict carbon emissions. Opposed Trump’s decision to withdraw from Paris Climate Agreement.

Economy: Support Trump’s imposition of tariffs on Chinese steel & other products?

Johnson – No. Concerned about how Chinese tariffs will affect Minnesota farmers.

Walz – No. Calls the tariffs “rash” & not in “the interests of America’s farmers.”

Education: Increase funding for K-12 education?

Johnson – No. Says money won’t solve problems. Voted in 2012 against increasing funding for early childhood & education programs for low-income families.

Walz – Yes. Wants to fully fund pre-K & K-12 education, making Minnesota the “education state.”

Education: Provide vouchers to parents to send their children to private schools with public money?

Johnson – Yes. Wants to allow parents vouchers to move their children out of failing schools.

Walz – No. Sees a need to keep funding public schools, “not diverting it into voucher programs.”

Education: Increase state funding for higher education?

Johnson – Unknown.

Walz – Yes. Wants to provide 2 years tuition-free education at MN state institutions for families making $125K/year or less.

Gay Marriage: Support gay marriage?

Johnson – No. But supports “contractual unions” for hospital visitation, inheritance or end-of-life decisions.

Walz – Yes. Has campaigned for “full marriage equality” since 2005.

Gun Control: Support more restrictive gun control legislation?

Johnson – No. Opposes expanded background checks. Wants to arm trained professionals in schools & strengthen existing laws, not restrict “rights of law-abiding gun owners” with new laws.

Walz – Yes. Supports expanded background checks & banning assault-style weapons—not arming teachers (he was a teacher for 20 years).

Healthcare: Support or Repeal Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare? Accept ACA’s Medicaid expansion to subsidize low-income participants?

Johnson – Repeal. Says the ACA “was sold as reform & there was no reform in it.” Wants to move toward “a more free-market system.”

Walz – Support. Opposes attempts to roll back ACA.  Believes single payer type system “is on Minnesota’s horizon,” but need to control immediate costs, improve care, and support MinnesotaCare as best current option.Also supports allowing people to buy into programs like VA system, Medicaid & Medicare.

Healthcare: Let Planned Parenthood receive public funds for non-abortion health care?

Johnson – Unknown.

Walz – Yes. Voted against defunding Planned Parenthood.

Immigration: Support DACA, allowing “Dreamers” who arrived illegally as children, then grew up in the US, to achieve legal status if meet certain conditions?

Johnson – Unknown.

Walz – Yes. Sees a need to address DACA & protect Dreamers. Wants to provide them with a path to citizenship.

Immigration: Support path to citizenship for America’s 11 million illegal immigrants?

Johnson – Unknown. Advocates stopping MN’s refugee resettlement program now.

Walz – Yes. Supports a path to citizenship for undocumented workers

Labor: Enact right-to-work law, eliminating the right of unions to mandate dues for workers they represent?

Johnson – Yes. Supports making Minnesota a right-to-work state.

Walz – No. Opposes “assaults on our right to collective bargaining,” & wants to push back against right-to-work legislation.

Marijuana: Legalize or decriminalize marijuana?

Johnson – Supports medical marijuana but opposed to legalizing recreational.

Walz – Yes. Supports full legalization of medical and recreational marijuana for adults.

Minimum Wage: Raise the minimum wage?

Johnson – No. Says it would lessen options for young & least experienced people.

Walz – Yes. Supports $15 minimum wage for Minnesota.

Net Neutrality: Require internet providers to provide equal access to all users?

Johnson – Unknown.

Walz – Yes.

President Trump: Response to Donald Trump Presidency?

Johnson – “I like what he is trying to do. I like the direction he is trying to take the country.”

Walz – Sees Trump as “divisive.” Rejects his calling his critics “treasonous.” On key votes, opposed Trump 79.5% as of August 2018.

Renewable Energy: Support government subsidies for renewable energy?

Johnson – Questions Minnesota’s mandates on producing renewable fuels like ethanol & biodiesel, but promises not to end them if elected.

Walz – Yes. Wants to expand the Renewable Energy Standard, so Minnesota will get at least 50% of its energy from renewables by 2030, up from 21% now.

Taxes: Support President Trump’s tax cuts?

Johnson – Support Trump tax cuts, would lower Minnesota taxes.

Walz – No. Opposed 2017 tax cuts. Says 86 million middle-class families will see taxes increase while top 1% get 83% of benefit. Cutting MN taxes means cutting programs.

Voting Rights: Support stricter voting rules such as voter ID requirements, even if they prevent some people from voting?

Johnson – Yes. Supports requiring voters to show photo ID, although Minnesotans rejected that idea in a 2012 vote.

Walz – No. Strengthen & reauthorize Voting Rights Act. Remove barriers to voting.