Minnesota governor, attorney general candidates to meet at Bemidji forum

The North Central Minnesota Republican Women are hosting a candidate forum for two races Sunday. Candidates for governor and attorney general will be in attendance to discuss their platforms.

North Central Minnesota Republican Women web art .jpg

BEMIDJI -- Republican candidates for Minnesota governor and attorney general will gather in Bemidji on Sunday for an informational forum.

The sold-out event is being hosted by the North Central Minnesota Republican Women and will feature seven candidates in the 2022 election. Candidates in the gubernatorial race include:

  • District 31 Sen. Michelle Benson, who’s been in the Minnesota Senate since 2011.
  • District 9 Sen. Paul Gazelka. A member of the Senate since 2011 and majority leader since 2017.
  • Dr. Scott Jensen, former Minnesota senator for District 47 from 2017-2020.
  • Lexington Mayor and business owner Mike Murphy.

For attorney general, participating candidates will include:

  • Former District 34 Rep. Dennis Smith, who served from 2015-2018.
  • Criminal defense attorney in Minneapolis Lynn Torgerson.
  • Attorney and former District 38B Rep. Doug Wardlow, who served from 2011-2012.

“Our group decided it would be good information to get to know the candidates because now is the time to get involved,” said Lisa Richards, president of the North Central Minnesota Republican Women. “We sat down and started to call the candidates, some of them I’ve worked with before. One thing led to another, those candidates said yes and more joined on.”
Sunday’s forum will take place at the Bemidji Town and Country Club. While the event is taking place in Bemidji, though, the organization covers several communities, including Brainerd, Cass Lake, Grand Rapids and Park Rapids.

Richards said she wants organization members and attendees to learn more about the candidates who are running.


“It’s very important for us,” Richards said. “We want to make sure we’re picking the right people so that they’re making the right choices. We don’t want people making choices for us like what’s happening now.”

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