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Political Notebook: It's election time again in 10 local districts

The Republican Governors Association is going after DFL gubernatorial candidate and 1st District Rep. Tim Walz for comments he recently made in Minneapolis.

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Tuesday is Election Day in Minnesota, and while there are no federal or state races on the ballot, there still are plenty of local elections that voters can weigh in on.

In Southeast Minnesota, 10 school districts have questions on the ballot. They are Blooming Prairie, Caledonia, Grand Meadow, Kenyon-Wanamingo, LaCrescent-Hokah, Lake City, Red Wing, Triton, Winona and Zumbrota-Mazeppa. School board elections will be held in Kenyon-Wanamingo, Stewartville and Blooming Prairie. Rushford mayor and city council seats also will be on the ballot.

To find out where your polling place is, go to pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us . Also make sure to visit PostBulletin.com after the polls close to find out election results.

Attacks based on 'rocks and cows'

The Republican Governors Association is going after DFL gubernatorial candidate and 1st District Rep. Tim Walz for comments he recently made in Minneapolis.

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The group sent out a video of Walz speaking last week at an event hosted by the Theater of Public Policy . In it, Walz is talking about the areas in Greater Minnesota where Republicans won in the last election.

"You see those maps. Red and blue and there's all that red across there. And Democrats go into depression over it. It's mostly rocks and cows that are in that red area," Walz said.

The conservative group bashed Walz's remarks, accusing him of showing his "true colors" when it comes to his views on rural America. The press release adds, "It's disgusting that Walz is peddling the insulting narrative used by urban elites — that rural Americans who tend to vote Republican are worthy of disparagement."

Walz's campaign is pushing back, saying the video is taken out of context and cuts off just as the Mankato Democrat is making his main point — that people in Greater Minnesota feel like they aren't being heard. The campaign sent out the full video. Walz goes on to say, "It's mostly rocks and cows that are in that red area because of demographics. I'm a geographer. But it doesn't change the fact that moving toward an urban population left a lot of areas where they were wondering, 'Where was the person speaking for them?'"

Walz campaign manager Nick Coe said in a statement, "Tim Walz was elected — and re-elected five times — in a rural district because he understands the challenges facing people in greater Minnesota. He also believes, as he pointed out at this forum, that Democrats have to do a better job of speaking to rural voters if they want to have the same success as he has in responding to their concerns."

Walz co-authors bill allowing public option

In other Walz news, the southern Minnesota congressman is co-sponsoring a bill that would create a Medicaid-based public health insurance option.

"The State Public Option Act would allow states to open up the promise of Medicaid to all, making universal health care a real possibility in our lifetimes. Health care is a right, not a privilege, and our work is not done until we ensure everyone in this country has access to it," Walz said in a statement.

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Hagedorn backs ending diversity visa program

In the wake of last week's deadly terrorist attack in New York City, GOP 1st District candidate Jim Hagedorn issued a statement saying he backs President Trump's call to end the Diversity Visa Lottery. The attack suspect — Sayfullo Saipov — entered the U.S. via that program.

"My priority in Congress will be to work with U.S. House colleagues and partner with President Trump to implement a merit-based system of legal immigration and enact common-sense solutions to block those with anti-West, anti-American or jihadist attitudes from entering the United States," Hagedorn said.

He also said he wants Saipov treated as an "enemy combatant' and sent to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Sullivan rips GOP tax plan

First District DFL candidate Joe Sullivan blasted the Republicans' tax cut proposal last week. The Mankato Democrat said in a statement that the plan will benefit the wealthy and not middle-class Minnesotans.

"At a time when our middle class is being crushed by a system that many feel is rigged against them, it is appalling that Paul Ryan and the Republicans in Congress would put the well-being of the wealthy over the needs of the hardworking people of southern Minnesota who are just seeking a fair shake," he said. "By slashing funding to Medicare, Pell Grants and medical research, it is clear that this budget was not created with the people of southern Minnesota in mind."

Sullivan also called for Hagedorn and the other Republican candidate in the race — Rochester Sen. Carla Nelson — to denounce the tax proposal. That has not happened.

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Feehan endorsed by former Obama chief of staff

First District DFL candidate Dan Feehan was endorsed last week by Denis McDonough, former chief of staff to President Obama. McDonough is also a native Minnesotan.

"I know Dan Feehan as a policy-maker, a military leader, and as a fellow Minnesotan. The next generation of leaders will need to be able to cut through the partisan bickering and restore faith in our government's ability to improve people's lives. Dan is that type of leader," McDonough said in a statement.

Feehan served in the Obama administration as acting assistant secretary of defense. He is also a U.S. Army veteran who did two tours in Iraq.

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