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Gubernatorial Election Issues Summary: What Matters to the Electorate? Where Do the Candidates Stand?
By MPR Newsroom
October 26, 1998

Taxes | Crime | Housing | Education | Farming
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Part of Election '98

TAXES By Martin Kaste

All three of the major-party candidates for governor are promising to cut your state taxes. After years of consecutive state budget surpluses, it's become almost politically unthinkable for a serious candidate not to promise tax cuts. And polls suggest that's the right political instinct: taxes regularly rank number one or two in voters' list of top priorities - right alongside education. So the question voters are asking is not whether the candidates will cut taxes, but which ones?

CRIME By Karen Louise Boothe

Crime rates in many American cities, including Minneapolis, have dropped. Experts credit better police tactics, more officers on the streets, longer prison terms, and less prevalence of crack cocaine. Crime has also dropped as a major issue in this year's election. Voters and politicians alike are seizing on issues such as lower test scores, high taxes, and access to health care.

HOUSING By Laura McCallum

When polled, people usually cite taxes and education as the top issues influencing their vote for governor. It rarely shows up in polls or on the campaign trail, but a statewide affordable housing crunch is a big concern for many Minnesotans. Some citizens say they wish the gubernatorial candidates would spend more time talking about ways to address the problem.

EDUCATION By Tim Pugmire

Voters and the candidates have placed education at the top of the agenda for this year's campaign for governor. The three major candidates have similar goals for education. They say they're committed to keeping elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schools strong. But the differences begin to show when they describe how to get there.

FARMING By Mark Steil

Concern over the farm crisis has many people interested in what the candidates for governor will do. The gubernatorial hopefuls have responded with proposals like cutting property taxes, but much of their time has been spent arguing over who is the best friend of the family farm. That's a lot of attention for a group which makes up a small portion of the state population, but the symbolic importance of farms outweighs their numbers.