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Editorial: Return Walz to Washington

Two years ago, Tim Walz -- a social studies teacher from Mankato seeking political office for the first time -- unseated six-term incumbent Gil Gutknecht and earned a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Now, for the first time, Walz is running as an incumbent, with Republican Brian Davis of Rochester his challenger.

To say Walz and Davis are different is an understatement, but it wouldn't be fair to characterize the matchup between the two as extreme left versus extreme right -- particularly in the case of Walz. In seeking his second term, Walz has gained the endorsements of all sorts of Minnesota groups comprised of teachers, farmers, law enforcement ... and even the National Rifle Association. This is a reflection of Walz's desire to represent his district, and work with others in a bipartisan fashion.

Davis has spoken prominently about the need for increased American drilling, and his position on health care -- free markets, as opposed to some type of universal coverage system -- also contrasts significantly. Davis and Walz, of course, contrast on a myriad of other issues, and even their backgrounds are different. (Walz spent a long career in the Minnesota National Guard, while Davis -- now a doctor at Mayo Clinic -- has multiple degrees, including a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

We endorsed Walz in 2006 as a fresh newcomer who would bring a fresh voice to Washington, and we feel he has done just that. He deserves another two-year term.