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Dayton may be wealthy, but gave a life of service

As a lifelong Democrat, I have had the pleasure to know, work with and work for all of the announced DFL candidates for governor and lieutenant governor. All have exceptional records of public service and all would help put the state back on the right track. Unfortunately, while accepting the DFL endorsement for lieutenant governor, John Gunyou, whom I have known as an admirable public servant, felt a need to level a not-so-subtle personal character attack on Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza.

In the May 23 issue of the Pioneer, Gunyou comments, "Margaret and I have always had to work for a living ,... We have walked a mile in middle class shoes." This is an apparent reference to the personal wealth both Dayton and Entenza bring to their campaigns. This primary has no room for personal attacks on the characters of the individuals.

While I don't know Entenza as well as I know Dayton, I can personally attest to the exceptionally strong work ethic Mark brings to every public service job he has held. While I'm not currently employed by Mark or affi-liated with his campaign, I have had the priv-ilege of serving with him in many positions.

Without exception, I can think of no one who worked harder than Mark to help improve the quality of life for all Minnesotans. As commissioner of economic development, he once had knee surgery in the morning and hobbled into a meeting with a CEO of a Minnesota-based Fortune 500 company in the afternoon to discuss plans for the company's expansion. As U.S. senator, Mark would drop everything he was doing and travel to Brazil, China or any other country if there was a potential to bring jobs back to the state.

What is even more exceptional, Mark rarely took compensation for his public service. Mark donated his entire Senate salary to help senior citizens purchase low-cost prescription drugs from Canada. Mark could have lived a life of luxury with his personal wealth; but instead, he used that wealth to support his wide variety of public service endeavors on behalf of the people of Minnesota.

John Gunyou is correct; Mark Dayton did not have to work to maintain his quality of life, but to his credit he has committed his entire professional life working extremely hard to improve the quality of life for all Minnesotans.

Jim Gelbmann

Woodbury, Minn.