Gov. Tim Walz makes it official: He's running again

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Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz officially announced his bid for a second term on Tuesday.

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Driving the news: An announcement video seeks to make the case that the Minnesota Democrat's record of "making the tough calls and always trying to do what’s right" throughout the pandemic deserves another term.

  • "The fight’s not over but we’ve got the ball back — we’re on offense and we’re making progress, " Walz says in the two-minute digital ad.

State of play: Walz has attracted a number of GOP challengers, including former Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, Sen. Michelle Benson and Scott Jensen, a physician and former state senator.

  • A recent Minnesota Poll showed Walz's approval numbers dropping below 50%, highlighting potential political vulnerability heading into next year's midterm election.

  • COVID-19 and crime are expected to be major themes. All three leading GOP challengers have attacked the governor's handing of the pandemic.

Yes, but: Republicans haven't won statewide since 2006. To do so, they'll likely have to make inroads in the suburbs.

The intrigue: Rumors swirled this fall that Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan would part ways before the next election, but Flanagan is staying on the ticket as running mate.

  • She appears prominently in the announcement video, arguing that the pair will help the state "rebuild strong than we were before."

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