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Republican candidate for Minnesota governor Scott Jensen has been criticized for repeating a right-wing hoax about cat litter boxes in schools.

Video footage of Jensen speaking at a campaign event last week came to the attention of CNN's K-File team, which shows Jensen mention a widely debunked rumor that school districts have been providing litter boxes for students who "identify as a furry."

“Why are we telling elementary kids that they get to choose their gender this week? Why do we have litter boxes in some of the school districts so kids can pee in them because they identify as a furry? We’ve lost our minds,” Jensen said.

The hoax about schools providing litter boxes to cater to furries, which describes people who dress up as animals with human characteristics, has been spread by various far-right politicians throughout the year, among them controversial Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene.

In Minnesota, the unproven rumor was shared during an education budget bill discussion by Republican Reps. Steve Drazkowski (Mazeppa) and Tim Miller (Prinsburg), as reported by the Minnesota Reformer.

Per the New York Times, the hoax initially stemmed from a school board meeting in Michigan, where a parent speaking at the meeting said she had been told by someone that the litter boxes were being added to unisex bathrooms for students who "identify as cats."

This was then picked up by a Republican leader in the state, forcing the district superintendent to explain the woman's claims were not true.

The hoax claim has been used by conservatives as an attack against the LGTBQ+ community and students who are questioning their sexuality and gender identities.

The Minnesota Department of Education has confirmed it is not aware of any schools in the state that are acting in the way Jensen claims.

Jensen did not provide a comment to CNN. Bring Me The News has reached out to his campaign for comment.

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