Former state senator Scott Jensen will run for Minnesota governor in 2022 as a Republican, he told the newspaper. The announcement follows the Chaska resident's single term in the Minnesota Senate.
Jensen, also a family physician, was brought into the larger public eye last year when he disagreed with state COVID-19 response and federal guidelines for reporting COVID deaths.
Last spring, Jensen announced he would not run for re-election for District 47, which includes the majority of Carver County.
In late June 2020, Jensen said the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice had put his license under review. A complaint accused him of giving reckless advice and spreading misinformation regarding COVID. A Minnesota State Senate press release confirmed the investigation had been dismissed.
In response to the criticism, Jensen told the newspaper he pushed several bills to the Senate and is an established physician.
“When people call me an anti-vaxxer, I think that’s sort of remarkable considering my children are fully vaccinated. I doubt that there are a whole lot of Minnesotans who purchase vaccines as my family,” he said. “I’m just really a strong arm. I think the patient gets to choose … You can’t tell me the vaccine is safe for me. You can decide if it’s safe for you.”
He said he’d been called a “quack” and “conspiracy theorist.”
“I think that’s silly. I think I just talk about a narrative that might not be the mainstream narrative,” Jensen said.
Jensen said his platform will launch Tuesday, March 16, emphasizing COVID-19, personal choice, government and public health accountability, and addressing election integrity.
“We gotta focus on COVID-19,” he said. “We need to realize that we all had stuff to learn and we're gonna have to learn, ‘How do we hold people accountable?’”
He said he would also focus on “public and private safety” and reducing conflict between parties.
“I don’t know if I can do it, but if there's any way I can help move the needle so that we can have election processes that are not so dependent on these hyper-attacks that go back and forth. Both parties do it,” Jensen said.
DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin issued a statement on March 9 regarding Jensen's announcement. "The last thing Minnesotans need is someone like failed one-term state senator Jensen anywhere near the governor’s mansion, especially during times of crisis," Martin stated.
According to the Associated Press, Jensen joins one other candidate: Mike Murphy, Republican mayor of Lexington in Anoka County. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is expected to run for a second term. Another Chaska resident, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, has also discussed the possibility running for governor.