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Walz weighing run for Minnesota governor

Walz weighing run for Minnesota governor

Democratic Congressman Tim Walz says he is considering a bid for Minnesota governor in 2018. 

Walz, now in his sixth term representing Minnesota's First District, was asked about the possibility of a gubernatorial bid at a town hall meeting Thursday night in Rochester.

"Yes, I would consider it," Walz said in response to an audience member's request that he consider making a run.

Related: Watch a recap of the town hall meeting on Periscope

In an interview after the meeting with MPR News, Walz said he expects to make a formal decision by April. 

"This rural, urban divide has to end. Being a Democrat and progressive in a more conservative area, and still having support from folks — I think that bodes well. So I'm going to take a look at it," Walz said in an interview with MPR News.

If he chooses to run, Walz would just an already crowded field of Democrats that includes St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and State Auditor Rebecca Otto. Additionally, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith has been mentioned as a possible successor to her current boss. Gov. Mark Dayton has already announced he will not seek re-election.

Walz, now a ranking member on the House Committee of Veterans' Affairs, barely held onto his seat in 2016. His Republican challenger, Jim Hagedorn, rode a wave of rural support for Donald Trump to come within 1 percentage point of Walz. That was a stark contrast from two years earlier when Walz defeated Hagedorn by 10 points.

Cover photo: Official House photo of Walz

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