Hatch, Hutchinson, Pawlenty outline visions of leadership
The three major-party candidates for Minnesota governor spelled out differing visions of leadership recently during a debate. The governor should be hopeful, have the "emotional maturity" needed when making tough decisions and work constructively...
The three major-party candidates for Minnesota governor spelled out differing visions of leadership recently during a debate.
The governor should be hopeful, have the "emotional maturity" needed when making tough decisions and work constructively to solve problems, Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty said.
A leader must "cast a vision for the future direction of their state," he said.
Pawlenty's main challenger, state Attorney General Mike Hatch, said as the state's political leader he would "fight to the death" for the middle class and to leave Minnesota better off for the next generation.
"I'm not swayed by popularity. I never have been," said Democrat Hatch. "I may make mistakes but at least I'm not the passive-aggressive type that won't speak up."
Independence Party candidate Peter Hutchinson said an effective leader must commit to "believing in and trusting the citizens" and find a balance between government's role and personal responsibility.
Sponsored by the nonprofit Debate Minnesota, the forum was held on the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus and focused on education, transportation and leadership.
There was little new information from the candidates on transportation. Pawlenty said he's done more to improve roads and transit than any governor in modern history, while Hatch said the governor has a "metro-centric" approach to transportation and that rural Minnesota roads need more money.
Transportation is among basic issues that have been cast aside in recent years as social issues such as gay marriage and other controversial topics have divided the state, Hutchinson said.
The next governor also needs to place more focus on health care, education and energy, he said.
"You can't duck these issues," Hutchinson said. "You can't distract the people of Minnesota forever."
The candidates were asked by an audience member what they would make their single major accomplishment after four years in office.
"I am going to attack health care costs and a vengeance," said Hatch, who has made that his marquee issue since being first elected attorney general in 1998.
Hutchinson said he could not accomplish his broad list of goals within four years, but said he would make progress toward lowering health insurance costs, implementing statewide all-day kindergarten, fixing Minnesota's roads and reducing water pollution.
For his part, Pawlenty said he wants to improve and reform the education system, including pushing for more rigorous high school coursework and requiring that more funding be spent in the classroom.