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Dayton Names Close Adviser as Running Mate

Updated: 02/04/2014 6:17 PM
Created: 02/04/2014 10:26 AM WDIO.com
By: Jon Ellis & Maarja Anderson

Governor Dayton has chosen his running mate for the November election, and she is not from the Northland.

Dayton has chosen Tina Smith, his chief of staff since he took office in 2011, to replace Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon. Prettner Solon, of Duluth, didn't want to serve a second term.

In introducing his running mate, Dayton described Smith as the best public administrator he has ever seen.

"She has the remarkable ability to draw people together, people from all different backgrounds, from all over the state, to work together and achieve common goals," he said during the announcement at the St. Paul AFL-CIO headquarters.

Smith lives in Minneapolis.

Prior to working in the governor's office, Smith served as the chief of staff for Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. She also worked as a marketing professional at General Mills and in external affairs for the regional Planned Parenthood operation.

Lt. Gov. Prettner Solon announced her retirement from public service last month after 25 years. She cited missing Duluth as one of her reasons to retire.

Both Dayton and Smith call Minneapolis home, so the pick goes against the tradition of having a geographically balanced ticket.

"Governor Dayton has been representing all of Minnesota his entire life in public service and that will continue. I think, also, people make too much of these differences when where we really need to focus is where our common ground is," said Smith.

Smith will resign from her chief of staff position next week and will begin campaigning across the state.

Gov. Mark Dayton and running mate, Tina Smith

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