Minn. GOP candidate suggests jail for Dem elections chief

May 2, 2022, 1:08 PM | Updated: 2:08 pm

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A leading Republican running for Minnesota governor has suggested that the state’s Democratic secretary of state should go to prison for his running of the state’s election system, without providing any evidence that he’s done anything illegal.

Scott Jensen, a doctor and former state senator known for his skepticism of the COVID-19 vaccine and the state’s response to the pandemic, attacked Secretary of State Steve Simon at a recent GOP district convention.

“We are not voter suppressors,” Jensen told the delegates. “We have a simple attitude. Make sure that every ballot in the box belongs there. Make sure that it’s easy to vote, hard to cheat, and if you cheat, you’re going to jail.

“And Steve Simon, you maybe better check out to see if you look good in stripes, because you’ve gotten away with too much, too long, under (Democratic Attorney General Keith) Ellison, and the hammer’s coming down,” Jensen said to applause and cheers.

Courts have ruled repeatedly that the temporary steps that Simon took with Ellison’s backing to make it easier and safer to vote during the COVID-19 pandemic were legal.

Jensen’s April 23 remarks, which were first reported Sunday by the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, had echoes of Donald Trump’s threats during the 2016 presidential race to send Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton to jail. Chants of “Lock her up” from his supporters were a defining feature of his campaign.

President Joe Biden beat Trump in Minnesota by 7 points in 2020. The crowded field of candidates in Minnesota’s GOP gubernatorial race has generally been reluctant to acknowledge Biden’s legally won the 2020 presidential election, despite a lack of credible evidence to support Trump’s allegations of mass voter fraud.

“It’s bizarre and irresponsible; a cynical attempt to use extreme conspiracy theories to radicalize political supporters,” Simon said in a statement. “The truth is that Minnesota’s election system is fundamentally fair, accurate, honest, and secure. It’s also nonpartisan, and we need to keep it that way. The voters of Minnesota showed their confidence in our system by making us No. 1 in America in voter participation for the third time in a row.”

Jensen’s campaign did not immediately return a message Monday seeking comment on his remarks, nor did the campaign of one of his leading rivals for the GOP endorsement, business executive Kendall Qualls. Another leading Republican candidate, state Sen. Paul Gazelka, declined to characterize Jensen’s remarks.

“He’s going to have to swim in his own comments,” Gazelka said in an interview.

The Minnesota GOP holds its state endorsing convention in Rochester on May 13-14.

Democratic U.S. Rep, Dean Phillips, who represents the western suburban 3rd District, where Jensen spoke, defended Simon in a tweet Sunday as “a principled public servant and outstanding Secretary of State.”

“Minnesota is recognized for our secure and fair elections and highest voter turnout in the nation. Shame on @drscottjensen for his despicable, dangerous, and remarkably unpatriotic vitriol,” Phillips added.

Ken Martin, the Democrats’ state party chairman, added to the criticism in a statement Monday, calling Jensen “a dangerous right-wing extremist” who “won’t let go of the Big Lie.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Rudy Giuliani arrives at the Fulton County Courthouse on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, in Atlanta.  Giu...
Associated Press

Giuliani arrives to testify in Georgia 2020 election probe

ATLANTA (AP) — Rudy Giuliani arrived at an Atlanta courthouse Wednesday under a judge’s order to appear before a special grand jury that is investigating attempts by former President Donald Trump and others to overturn his 2020 election defeat in Georgia. News cameras swarmed Giuliani as he stepped out of a limousine Wednesday morning with […]
7 hours ago
Police officers and other officials stand outside the Ryder Trauma Center after a Miami-Dade police...
Associated Press

Miami officer still critical as robbery suspect identified

MIAMI (AP) — A 29-year-old police officer who was shot in the head while trying to stop a robbery suspect in Miami remained in “extremely critical condition” early Wednesday, officials said. Det. Cesar Echaverry was shot Monday night as he and other officers closed in a suspect wanted for an earlier robbery in nearby Broward […]
7 hours ago
FILE - A woman wheels a cart with her purchases out of a Walmart, on Nov. 18, 2020, in Derry, N.H. ...
Associated Press

US retail sales were flat in July as inflation takes a toll

WASHINGTON (AP) — The pace of sales at U.S. retailers was unchanged last month as persistently high inflation and rising interest rates forced many households to spend more cautiously. Retail purchases were flat after having risen 0.8% in June, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. Economists had expected a slight increase in July retail sales. Still, […]
7 hours ago
Associated Press

Kids-for-cash judges ordered to pay more than $200M

Two Pennsylvania judges who orchestrated a scheme to send children to for-profit jails in exchange for kickbacks were ordered to pay more than $200 million to hundreds who fell victim to their crimes. U.S. District Judge Judge Christopher Conner awarded $106 million in compensatory damages and $100 million in punitive damages to nearly 300 plaintiffs […]
7 hours ago
FILE - Illegal minors search for gold in the Ireng River on the Raposa Serra do Sol Indigenous rese...
Associated Press

Little talk of rainforest protection in the Brazilian Amazon

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — In the Brazilian Amazon these days, it’s nearly impossible to run for office talking up the environment. More common is a scene like this: A candidate for Congress parades a helicopter — the symbol of illegal gold mining — painted with the Brazilian flag, through the streets of the Amazon […]
7 hours ago
The NASA Artemis rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard leaves the Vehicle Assembly Building movin...
Associated Press

NASA’s moon rocket moved to launch pad for 1st test flight

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s new moon rocket arrived at the launch pad Wednesday ahead of its debut flight in less than two weeks. The 322-foot (98-meter) rocket emerged from its mammoth hangar late Tuesday night, drawing crowds of Kennedy Space Center workers. It took nearly 10 hours for the rocket to make the […]
7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Minn. GOP candidate suggests jail for Dem elections chief