Tim Walz

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Tim Walz
U.S. Representative – MN-01
Image:TimWalz.JPG
Party Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Assumed office

January 4, 2007

Preceded by Gil Gutknecht
Committees
Born April 6, 1964
Spouse Gwen (Whipple) Walz
Religion Lutheran


Tim Walz (D) represents the 1st Congressional District of Minnesota, MN-01. A miltiary veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he is one of the Fighting Dems.

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Background

Tim Walz began running for the 1st Congressional District seat by the end of '04 (see Minnesota U.S. House election, 2006). Tim's experience in the military as a Command Sargeant Major comes through. The energy and fervency of support among those who meet Tim is not parallelled by any of the previous candidates. In short, Tim, as a "commander," inspires loyalty. Tim Walz is thus a real electoral threat to incumbent Republican Gil Gutknecht.

Mr. Walz's opponent, Rep. Gil Gutknecht, a former auctioneer, served 12 years in the Minnesota legislature before joining Congress in 1995. He emails progress reports on Iraq to constituents but prefers to talk up immigration, where he is taking a tougher line in response the influx of illegal immigrants working in agriculture-processing facilities in the district. "It's a hotter issue and it's more clear-cut," he says. Unlike Iraq, "people know which side they're on." Walz counters that if Gutknecht is not prepared to lead on Iraq, he should step aside for a leader who will.

The district is in contention and possible Democratic pickup. The facts clearly show that this district is very evenly divided, with growing support for Democratic candidates. In 2004, George Bush won only 51% of the vote in the 1st, versus 54% in the Minnesota 2nd District, and close to 57% in the 6th. Five of the 13 new DFL State Representatives elected in 2004 are from the 1st CD. And DFL legislators can be found in 17 of the 22 counties in the District. On November 7, 2006, Tim Walz upset Gil Gutknecht, winning the first district 53% to 47%.

Biography

Tim Walz is a highly regarded high school teacher and football coach. He was awarded the 2003 Minnesota Teacher of Excellence. He was a winning football coach at Mankato West High School. He and his wife have one young child.

The March 30, 2006 issue of the Wall Street Journal (p. A4) called Walz THE Republican nightmare in the 1st. The authors of the piece go on to state that, "Here in the First District, Tim Walz, the high-school teacher and coach and ringer for Speaker Hastert, has the Democratic field to himself. A retired master sergeant in the Army National Guard, he served overseas during the early war in Afghanistan. When his old artillery battalion deployed to Iraq last week, Mr. Walz's emotions showed after traveling down to Mississippi to say goodbye." "There were soldiers down there that I taught in school. They were my students in my classroom, I coached them," he said. "This is not something that is a political game or a political loss."

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