Forum reveals where leading gubernatorial candidates stand on environmental issues

See where the leading candidates stand on the environmental and conservation issues important to you. We recommend viewing full-screen. (Click the play arrow and then select the squareish icon that appears in the bottom right corner.)

FMR was proud to team up with more than two dozen partners from across the state to co-host six leading candidates for Governor of Minnesota at the Our New Environment Forum on January 24.

Moderated by Elizabeth Dunbar of Minnesota Public Radio and Dave Orrick of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the forum gave candidates a chance to share their views on a variety of environment and conservation topics in advance of the February 6 precinct caucuses.

It featured questions from the public on a variety of topics including climate change, pipelines, mining, habitat conservation, agricultural runoff, drinking water, environmental funding, pollinators and environmental justice.

Nearly 300 attended the event in person at Hamline University in St. Paul while roughly 2,700 people participated remotely or at one of nine satellite, livestreaming locations across the state.

Members of both major parties were invited to attend, and we are thankful for the candidates that chose to participate and address important conservation issues: Chris Coleman, Tina Liebling, Erin Murphy, Rebecca Otto, Paul Thissen and Tim Walz. (Update: As of mid-February Coleman and Thissen are no longer running.

Audience poll

The night concluded with an informal audience poll, asking participants to pick the candidate who best reflected their environmental and conservation priorities.

Due to limited bandwidth (from a far larger voting audience than anticipated) and the potential for duplicate votes, it's unclear how directly the results reflect audience preference. However, the poll showed Chris Coleman earning 39.5%, followed by U.S. Rep. Tim Walz at 35.9%, Rep. Erin Murphy at 10.5%, Rep. Paul Thissen at 6.7%, State Auditor Rebecca Otto at 5.4%, and Rep. Tina Liebling at 2%.

Watch the video

Check out the forum video above or on youtubeto see how closely the candidates' priorities match yours. If you don't have time to watch the full forum (which we recommend), and your top concern is clean water, the water section of the forum begins at the one-hour mark and concludes at one hour and 22 minutes.

Thank you event partners

This event, originally proposed by FMR Executive Director Whitney Clark last summer, was the result of more than two dozen organizations coming together to make it happen.

Event partners included: Audubon Minnesota, Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, Clean Water Action, Climate Generation, Conservation Minnesota, Environment Minnesota, Fresh Energy, Izaak Walton League - Minnesota Division, Lutheran Advocacy Minnesota, MN350, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Minnesota Conservation Federation, Minnesota Environmental Partnership, Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light, Minnesota River Valley Audubon Chapter, One BluWorld, Sierra Club - Northstar Chapter, Sustainable Stillwater, The Nature Conservancy, The Trust for Public Land, Transportation Forward, Voyageurs National Park Association, WaterLegacy and Women’s Congress for Future Generations.

Thank you to event partners, candidates, moderators, Hamline University and all our attendees and participants for making the Our New Environment Forum a huge success.

Caucus: Tuesday, February 6

Minnesota’s precinct caucuses will be held Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 7 p.m. If you plan to attend, please consider sharing your views on Minnesota's environment and conservation. Find your precinct caucus on the Minnesota Secretary of State's website.