Mark Dayton, who has an unofficial lead over Republican Tom Emmer in the governor’s election, has announced two well-known DFL operatives to lead his transition team.
Tina Smith and Lee Sheehy will serve as co-chairs of his team. Smith most recently was R.T. Rybak’s gubernatorial campaign manager. Rybak, the Minneapolis mayor, lost the DFL endorsment to Margaret Anderson Kelliher, who in turn lost in the DFL primary to Dayton. Smith has also been a Planned Parenthood lobbyist.
Sheehy has been chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and head of the Minneapolis’s economic development and planning agency.
Michele Kelm-Helgen and Ruth Orrick have been appointed senior advisors for the transition. Kelm-Helgen, who is the daughter of DFL activist Tom Kelm, has served since 2006 as Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller’s chief of staff.
Orrick, a former Thomson West executive, is a former DFL Party chair.
Dayton campaign manager Dana Anderson will be the transition team’s chief of staff. Dayton’s communications director Katharine Tinucci will handle communications for the transition.
Dayton leads Emmer by 8,749 votes out of 2.1 million votes cast. The ballots are expected to be recounted because of the slim margin victory.