We are all studies in contradiction to some extent; and Paul Gazelka is no different. As the campaign unfolds, will he be the Trumper he’s been so far, or will he shy away? On abortion, where he expresses purism, will he support a Texas type bill that prohibits abortion at such early stage that women won’t even know they’re pregnant? Initially he supported background checks for gun buyers and now he’s backing away. Will he stay NRA all the way?
I’ve never been afflicted with any temptation to vote Republican and doubt that will change between now and the 2022 election cycle. So, I will be watching and reacting to the Gazelka campaign, just as a somewhat interested observer. That interest is heightened by our common geography, spending most of our respective yeas in and around Echoland.
Gazelka seems to be starting his campaign on a negative tack; espousing more anti Democrat and anti Gov. Tim Walz than pro Gazelka.
Both men live and function based on their Christian values; although Gazelka certainly waves and expresses a more vocal and narrow pathway. Walz is quieter about it, but certainly is serious about governing in accordance with his Christian principles.
The office of Governor is the top administrative job in the State off Minnesota. To function well, the Governor needs to have a working relationship with legislative leaders of the opposite party. For the most recent years Gazelka has served as one of the two opposition leaders, and he has not served well. He spends more time and energy blocking good government effort, and very little in proposing or reaching compromise in legislation that we need and should agree upon.
His early pronouncements as Majority Leader indicated that he would work with Walz and DFL leaders, but instead he has nit-picked and been hypercritical of just about everything Walz has tried to do.
He has repeatedly, vocally and publicly attacked the incumbent Governor and Administration on executive decisions needed in response to the Covid 19 pandemic. Rather than working with Walz on the deadly disease that threatens us all; a matter that cries out for urgent non-partisan action; Gazelka has taken potshots at Walz at every juncture, grandstanding along the way.
Notably, the pile of Gazelka criticism has been after the fact; without input or expression before the decisions needed to be made.
Gazelka was of no help in convincing Minnesotans to get vaccinated as soon as possible, mask up, and comply with other directives that could have reduced our Covid losses of life in Minnesota.
Former Republican Governors made a point of getting vaccinated alongside Walz, but not Gazelka.
When most of us were closing in, by staying home, wearing masks, and avoiding crowds, Gazelka threw a post election 2020 party, mostly maskless, and shoulder to shoulder, which sadly apparently led to the Covid 19 death of attendee Sen. Jerry Relph.
Maybe when you compare Gazelka with other even more extreme candidates like Jensen and Benson, you can conclude he’s the best choice the Republicans have to offer.
When you compare him with Walz in administrative acumen, usage of executive power, and promoting a team concept in accomplishing through compromise, and collaboration, he does not compare well.
Instead of working toward compromise in enacting what the majority of Minnesotans want and desperately need to alleviate criminal gun usage, he has blocked even minimal bills, not even allowing early Senate committee hearings, and blocking discussion on the Senate floor.
So, as said at the outset, which Gazelka will the campaigner be? Will he continue his obstructionism? Is he going to come up with anything new? Will he be successful in fundraising enough money for a viable statewide campaign? How well will he do with what is left of his Sate Party, and they with him?
At this point, it looks like Gov. Walz is wending his way toward re-election in November 2022.