Minnesota Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen announces a crime-fighting plan June 9, 2022, during a news conference outside the State Capitol in St. Paul.
CNN  — 

The Republican candidate for governor of Minnesota repeated last week a bizarre hoax claim which has been debunked that children are being told they can identify as anthropomorphic cats and are being allowed to use litter boxes to urinate in schools.

Scott Jensen, the Republican candidate and a former state lawmaker, made the comments while speaking to supporters, according to a video of the event posted on Facebook.

“But what about education?” Jensen said. “What are we doing to our kids? 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. We’ve lost our minds.”

Furries are a subculture that sometimes involves people dressing up as anthropomorphic animal characters and attending conventions.

The unfounded internet rumor has been repeatedly denied by various school officials who have had to continuously dispute the false claims. Republican officials across the country have continued to cite it, most recently in Colorado by the Republican nominee for governor.

The claim reportedly originated from a community member at a local school board meeting last year and has since spread across the internet. They have been repeatedly shot down by fact-checkers from major news outlets as false. The bizarre conspiracy has spread so much that it even has its own dedicated Wikipedia page.

Jensen did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Jensen is running against the current Democratic Gov. Tim Walz, who is seeking a second full term in office.

Inside Elections currently rates the race as likely Democratic.