Retired Republican Rep. Laura Brod and former GOP House Speaker Steve Sviggum were both recommended for spots on the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents, despite originally seeking the same seat on the body.
Initially Brod and Sviggum were competing for the regent seat representing the Second Congressional District, but a joint House and Senate Higher Education Committee on Wednesday opted not to reappoint current regent and secretary/treasurer of the AFL-CIO, Steve Hunter. Brod will now take his place as the at-large recommended candidate, with Sviggum getting the nod for the Second Congressional District.
Some DFLers are miffed over what they saw as a partisan process. Following the committee vote, DFL Rep. Tom Rukavina said Democratic leaders were more bipartisan in their nominations. On the House floor Thursday, Rep. Joe Atkins said the rules do not allow appointing regents to any position other than the one for which they applied. Atkins called the maneuver “the most overtly political vote we have seen in 150 years of the University of Minnesota.”
Support for Brod and Sviggum was party line in committee. The full Legislature will vote on the recommended candidates Monday.