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The Capitol Note: Dayton to pick running mate this week

Mike Mullen//February 3, 2014

The Capitol Note: Dayton to pick running mate this week

Mike Mullen//February 3, 2014

Gov. Mark Dayton will announce his running mate this week. (File photo: Peter Bartz-Gallagher)
Gov. Mark Dayton will announce his running mate this week. (File photo: Peter Bartz-Gallagher)

1.) Gov. Mark Dayton will name his choice of running mate some time this week, but it won’t be the elected official who most observers had perceived as the odds-on favorite. Sen. Katie Sieben, DFL-Newport, announced on Friday that she would not seek the lieutenant governor position, according to the Associated Press. That leaves a pair of likely possibilities for Dayton to replace Yvonne Prettner Solon on his campaign ticket: Chief of staff and trusted confidante Tina Flint Smith and Tony Sertich, former Senate majority leader and current commissioner of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB). Dayton is expected to pick his new political partner in the early part of the week, as he is scheduled for another hip surgery at the Mayo Clinic on Thursday.

2.) A task force created to investigate the state’s public school buildings has determined it might take $300 million in new state spending to fix up facilities across Minnesota, the Pioneer Press reports. Task force co-chair and Moose Lake school superintendent Robert Indihar said the current system for funding school buildings is “broken,” and gives advantages to certain districts. The proposal passed last week would call for a more centralized funding system to replace the current approach, which typically relies on local tax revenue to fund school buildings and repairs. Three quarters of school districts must currently pay for school improvements and additions through an approved voter referendum.  Rep. Duane Quam, R-Byron, said he fears the change that could result if local areas lose the ability to fund their own maintenance costs, saying, the “partnership between the district and the community is important to students.”

3.) 8th Congressional District Republican candidate Stewart Mills holds a slight cash on hand advantage over DFL U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, according to MinnPost. The latest round of fundraising disclosures finds Mills holing $305,000 in his campaign bank account, while the incumbent Democrat has $298,000. The slight disparity means Nolan is the lone U.S. House incumbent currently trailing his challenger. Nolan managed to win election while being outraised and outspent in 2012, in a campaign against GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack that was dominated by outside spending.


  • Rep. Debra Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center, was endorsed in her Secretary of State bid by the women’s issue political group EMILY’S List. In a statement, state chapter president Stephanie Schriock pointed out that Hilstrom would be the “first Democratic woman to serve as Minnesota’s Secretary of State in 14 years.”
  • Kathryn Hoffman registered to work as a lobbyist for the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy. It is her only advocacy assignment to date, and she is that group’s eighth lobbyist currently on retainer.
  • Minneapolis resident and former Somali Prime Minister Abdirizak Haji Hussein died Friday at age 89, the Star Tribune reports. Hussein led that country from 1964-1967, and was later imprisoned following a military coup. He had lived in Minneapolis for roughly the past 15 years.
  • DFL legislative candidate James Kanne intends to seek a rematch against Rep. Paul Torkelson, R-Hanska, according to the Mankato Free Press. Torkelson won election to a third term with 56 percent of the district vote that year, while a third party candidate nabbed 11 percent.
  • Christina Zeise signed up to become the third lobbyist working for the Minnesota Social Service Association. It is her first registration with the state campaign finance board.


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