GOP candidate for governor Scott Jensen has claimed in videos, emails and on social media that Democratic Gov. Tim Walz has canceled numerous debates, including a faceoff at the State Fair.

"He has canceled debates in front of the Chamber of Commerce, Rochester, Game Fair and several others. And now today he's saying, 'MPR debate at the State Fair, I'm not going,'" Jensen said in a video posted Monday, suggesting Walz is avoiding conversations on inflation and crime.

Walz's campaign, and various debate hosts, confirmed the governor will not be participating in several events. Walz's spokesman said he did not technically cancel the debates — he just never agreed to do them.

"None of these were on the books. None of them were ever publicly or privately agreed to. So we are not doing the MPR debate, but we did not withdraw from it," campaign spokesman Darwin Forsyth said.

He said Walz has been asked to participate in 19 debates and the "sheer quantity" of invitations means he cannot take part in all of them. The Walz campaign declined to provide a list of the 19 debates. Jensen and Walz debated for the first time earlier this month at Farmfest.

"The governor has been clear publicly that there will be more debates. We can't make every single debate and [the MPR event] is not one that we were going to be able to do," he said, adding they have yet to confirm any other debates.

Walz participated in that debate at the fair in 2018 during his first run for governor. This year, Jensen accepted while Walz declined, according to MPR.

Four years ago, the governor also participated in the debate at Game Fair, a six-day hunting event in Ramsey. This year, hosts contacted Walz's campaign multiple times offering to reschedule the event to a time that worked for the governor, said Rob Drieslein with Outdoor News, which was co-hosting the debate.

"It's a little strong to say Walz 'canceled' because he never confirmed that he would attend the tentative date we pitched. We never received any feedback from Walz or his people suggesting a different date," Drieslein said via email. "It's more accurate to say he declined to participate … which was highly disappointing."

The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce also hasn't had luck lining up an event with Walz.

"We were disappointed that we were unable to schedule a forum again this year, but it did not work for the Walz campaign," said Laura Bordelon with the chamber. "We know the business community would benefit from hearing from the candidates and taking questions. We hope for another opportunity."

It's a close race, said retired Carleton College political science professor Steven Schier, and he predicted Walz would rather use his cash advantage to spread his campaign message than do debates.

"He doesn't want any sort of surprises and challenges from Jensen that might upset the race," Schier said.