Approximately 500 people packed into the Verizon Center in Mankato on July 26 for a gubernatorial forum c0-hosted by Flaherty & Hood clients Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities and Greater Minnesota Partnership. Greater Mankato Growth also served as the third co-host.

Three of the five leading candidates in the race — DFLers State Rep. Erin Murphy and Congressman Tim Walz and Republican Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson — participated in the event. Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, who is also in the running on the DFL side, withdrew from the forum due to a family emergency. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, declined to participate, citing schedule conflicts.

The 90-minute forum was moderated by Marvin Rhodes, general manager of KEYC News 12, and focused on issues that are important to Greater Minnesota communities such as Local Government Aid, workforce development, child care and transportation.

F&H Media and Communications Director Julie Liew, Shareholder Attorney Bradley Peterson and lobbyist Dan Dorman, along with staff from Greater Mankato Growth, led the planning, coordination and promotional activities associated with the forum. They helped to develop the questions, coordinated between the candidates, dealt with media inquiries and worked closely with KTV, the television station that filmed the forum and broadcast it live on television and online. You can watch the full forum here.