Walz makes stop in Austin

Published 10:47 am Monday, November 3, 2008

Politicians made their last rounds over the weekend as U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, accompanied by former Vice President Walter Mondale, stopped by the Mower County DFL Headquarters in Austin Saturday.

The Democrat visited with supporters at the Labor Center before they headed out door-knocking for his campaign.

“Making the case is already done,” Walz explained on Saturday. “If we watch what we can control, it can work itself out.

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“This is really when the speeches are over,” he said.

Veterans’ issues, transportation and agriculture have been his top priorities, Walz said, pointing out he is focusing on a “middle ground” and “taking back trust in one another” if elected to a second term.

Walz said Mondale, a Minnesotan who served under President Jimmy Carter, is a good friend and mentor.

“The vice president kind of embodies what people want — more of a statesman,” Walz said.

About 20 supporters, including several children, gathered at the headquarters before dispersing into the community.

Elections are just a means to get a better country,” Walz said. “This is going to be the greatest ‘get out the vote’ grassroots effort ever in Minnesota.”

Mondale, who also accompanied U.S. Senate hopeful Al Franken to Austin Oct. 25, called Walz a “terrific Congressman.”

“Tim Walz deserves to get re-elected; we need him,” said Mondale, telling the crowd the current administration needs to be “spanked this election.”

“Above all, it’s about change,” he said. “I want to see Joe Biden fit into my vice presidential office.”

“We have three days to transform not only our government, but the world,” Walz said. “It’s our time now.”

Walz, a Nebraska native and 24-year veteran of the Army National Guard, taught and coached football at Mankato West High School prior to his being elected in 2006, when he defeated six-term incumbent Gil Gutknecht.

He serves the 1st Congressional District, which represents Austin, Albert Lea, Mankato, Rochester and Worthington. Walz’s opponent is Republican Brian Davis, a Rochester resident and doctor at Mayo Clinic.