Incumbent Gov. Tim Walz (D), Scott Jensen (R), and four other candidates are running in the general election on November 8, 2022, for governor of Minnesota.
Walz was first elected in 2018, defeating Jeff Johnson (R), 54% to 42%. Walz succeeded Mark Dayton (D), who served as governor from 2011 to 2019. Since 1990, Minnesota has had two Democratic governors, two Republican governors, and one governor who was elected as a member of the Reform Party.
Heading into the 2022 elections, Minnesota is one of 13 states with divided government and one of two states—along with Virginia—where partisan control of the state legislature is split between Democrats and Republicans. Since 1992, Minnesota has had divided government for 28 out of 30 years.
The two most recent presidential elections in Minnesota were decided by seven percentage points or less. In the 2020 election, President Joe Biden (D) won the state over then-incumbent President Donald Trump (R), 52% to 45%. In 2016, Hillary Clinton carried Minnesota with 46.4% of the vote to Trump’s (D) 44.9%.
Thirty-six states are holding gubernatorial elections in 2022. Heading into the 2022 elections, there are 28 Republican governors and 22 Democratic governors. Of those states holding gubernatorial elections, 20 hav a Republican governor, and 16 states have a Democratic one. In 2022, eight governors—five Republicans and three Democrats—did not run for re-election, with seven of those not running due to term limits.
Minor party candidates include Steve Patterson (Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party of Minnesota), Hugh McTavish (Independence Party of Minnesota), James McCaskel (Legal Marijuana Now Party), and Gabrielle Prosser (Socialist Workers Party),
Minnesota is one of nine states where the lieutenant governor is chosen by each gubernatorial candidate before the primaries and runs on a single ticket in both the primary and general elections.