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DFL gubernatorial candidate Matt Entenza introduces his running mate, former Fox TV 9 anchor Robyne Robinson, during a news conference Thursday at Bemidji Regional Airport. Pioneer Photo/ Monte Draper

Entenza announces Robinson as running mate

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Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Matt Entenza picked Robyne Robinson, a former Twin Cities television anchor, Thursday as his running mate.

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As lieutenant governor, Robinson said she plans to focus on preventing teen pregnancies and to bolster the arts in Minnesota.

"Robyne is ready to lead, and to help lead Minnesota boldly into the 21st century," Entenza said Thursday in a Bemidji news conference. "Robyne and I have a vision of a state that is refocused and recommitted to creating jobs across northern Minnesota, that is looking at a way of doing it with clean energy so that we make sure this region from Bemidji to Brainerd and across northern Minnesota has the ability to create the jobs we need so our biggest export isn't our young people but our products."

Robinson signed off the air Wednesday as longtime anchor for Fox TV 9, the former KMSP, where she worked for 20 years, first as a reporter covering the Minnesota Legislature. She was the first black to anchor a local primetime newscast.

"She came to Minnesota on a Greyhound bus with a suitcase and a dream," Entenza said. "She knew that she wanted to make an impact on her newfound state and did she ever make an impact."

A Hubert H. Humphrey Public Policy Fellow at the University of Minnesota, Robinson serves on numerous community boards including the board of the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota.

"We have a lot in common," said Robinson, noting that she's from Chicago and Entenza from Worthington. "We come from strong, female-headed households that insisted that education is the key dream, and that's what we want to emphasize.

"Education, green jobs -- it's all about the economy," she said.

Minnesota can't strive to be a great state by continuing to "slash and cut" state budgets, Robinson said. "We're working for a 21st century government. We want to change the old paradigms around. We want to make sure that the government is ready for the 21st century."

She predicted what she and Entenza plan to do will be "revolutionary." "We're going to make sure that this state is a national and international player. The only way we can do that is making sure we have green jobs and looking for different ways for clean fuel."

Entenza said that Robinson, as lieutenant governor, would be given three specific chores: working with Entenza to make sure the center point of the campaign of education is a priority, to lead an initiative on teen pregnancy, and as a leader to promote arts and culture.

"We have to focus on teen pregnancy, one of my major issues," Robinson said. "Teen pregnancy numbers are outrageous. There's no way it should be this way."

Beltrami County has both the highest rate of teenage pregnancy and teen suicide in the state.

"The organizations that are really out here trying to work with teens don't get as much of the press as the bad things that happen," Robinson said. "We really need to work with these organizations and really convince kids that, one, to work with these organizations for some self-awareness and self-identity and, two, coupling with education.

"We have to think outside the box, not only do all these kids not feel integrated schools, they don't feel integrated into the youth culture," she added. "We've got to find a way to reach them."

Programs need to tell kids that they count, they matter, they exist, she said, that they have something to offer.

Robinson has her own business, Rox, designer jewelry which is carried by Macy's, as well as several boutiques in the Twin Cities area.

"This is crucial for northern Minnesota," Entenza said of the role of arts in Minnesota. "This is a way not only to drive tourism, but to make sure that we have the dynamic environment that we need to attract businesses and have the kind of economic climate that we know northern Minnesota needs."

The newly enacted Legacy fund which takes some state sales tax monies for arts and culture is reaching arts organizations, but not the artists, Robinson said.

"When I talk to artists ... where I keep my studio, it's not reaching them," she said. "Many of them rely on their spouses but their spouses, who may be in real estate, are having a hard time. They are not feeling that trickle down."

The artists need to be educated that money is available, she said.

"Robyne has such a statewide profile," Entenza said. "She's been recognized as one of the first people who really began looking at these new areas of art and culture, and recognizing their importance in our community, and seeing the media cover it more."

He called it an economic development tool, both for tourism and quality of life attractor for new businesses.

Entenza will join former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton and DFL-endorsed House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kellilher in an Aug. 10 primary.

Minnesota Republican Party Chairman Tony Sutton called Entenza's pick a "Hail Mary pass."

"Today's Hail Mary pass from Matt Entenza is the latest sign of a desperate campaign," Sutton said. "Lagging far behind his fellow Democrats in third place, Entenza decided to throw deep on fourth and long. Unfortunately for Entenza, his running mate's glamour can't make his long record as a tax and spend liberal who will raise taxes and increase spending any more appealing."

Entenza said journalists are more than one-dimension and many have done well in politics, naming off former U.S. Sen. Rod Grams, a TV anchor, and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, a former Star Tribune of Minneapolis reporter.

"I'm so proud of this appointment," he said. "Anyone who doesn't recognize that we need some new outside voices, that the same old tired cynical voices that exist in the State Capitol that and squabble and call one another names is not what the public wants."

Entenza also announced that Pam McCrory of Bemidji is serving has deputy field director for the campaign, and will be assisted by Mike Simpkins of Bemidji.

Y bswenson@bemidjipioneer.com

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Matt Entenza picked Robyne Robinson, a former Twin Cities television anchor, Thursday as his running mate.

As lieutenant governor, Robinson said she plans to focus on preventing teen pregnancies and to bolster the arts in Minnesota.

"Robyne is ready to lead, and to help lead Minnesota boldly into the 21st century," Entenza said Thursday in a Bemidji news conference. "Robyne and I have a vision of a state that is refocused and recommitted to creating jobs across northern Minnesota, that is looking at a way of doing it with clean energy so that we make sure this region from Bemidji to Brainerd and across northern Minnesota has the ability to create the jobs we need so our biggest export isn't our young people but our products."

Robinson signed off the air Wednesday as longtime anchor for Fox TV 9, the former KMSP, where she worked for 20 years, first as a reporter covering the Minnesota Legislature. She was the first black to anchor a local primetime newscast.

"She came to Minnesota on a Greyhound bus with a suitcase and a dream," Entenza said. "She knew that she wanted to make an impact on her newfound state and did she ever make an impact."

A Hubert H. Humphrey Public Policy Fellow at the University of Minnesota, Robinson serves on numerous community boards including the board of the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota.

"We have a lot in common," said Robinson, noting that she's from Chicago and Entenza from Worthington. "We come from strong, female-headed households that insisted that education is the key dream, and that's what we want to emphasize.

"Education, green jobs -- it's all about the economy," she said.

Minnesota can't strive to be a great state by continuing to "slash and cut" state budgets, Robinson said. "We're working for a 21st century government. We want to change the old paradigms around. We want to make sure that the government is ready for the 21st century."

She predicted what she and Entenza plan to do will be "revolutionary." "We're going to make sure that this state is a national and international player. The only way we can do that is making sure we have green jobs and looking for different ways for clean fuel."

Entenza said that Robinson, as lieutenant governor, would be given three specific chores: working with Entenza to make sure the center point of the campaign of education is a priority, to lead an initiative on teen pregnancy, and as a leader to promote arts and culture.

"We have to focus on teen pregnancy, one of my major issues," Robinson said. "Teen pregnancy numbers are outrageous. There's no way it should be this way."

Beltrami County has both the highest rate of teenage pregnancy and teen suicide in the state.

"The organizations that are really out here trying to work with teens don't get as much of the press as the bad things that happen," Robinson said. "We really need to work with these organizations and really convince kids that, one, to work with these organizations for some self-awareness and self-identity and, two, coupling with education.

"We have to think outside the box, not only do all these kids not feel integrated schools, they don't feel integrated into the youth culture," she added. "We've got to find a way to reach them."

Programs need to tell kids that they count, they matter, they exist, she said, that they have something to offer.

Robinson has her own business, Rox, designer jewelry which is carried by Macy's, as well as several boutiques in the Twin Cities area.

"This is crucial for northern Minnesota," Entenza said of the role of arts in Minnesota. "This is a way not only to drive tourism, but to make sure that we have the dynamic environment that we need to attract businesses and have the kind of economic climate that we know northern Minnesota needs."

The newly enacted Legacy fund which takes some state sales tax monies for arts and culture is reaching arts organizations, but not the artists, Robinson said.

"When I talk to artists ... where I keep my studio, it's not reaching them," she said. "Many of them rely on their spouses but their spouses, who may be in real estate, are having a hard time. They are not feeling that trickle down."

The artists need to be educated that money is available, she said.

"Robyne has such a statewide profile," Entenza said. "She's been recognized as one of the first people who really began looking at these new areas of art and culture, and recognizing their importance in our community, and seeing the media cover it more."

He called it an economic development tool, both for tourism and quality of life attractor for new businesses.

Entenza will join former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton and DFL-endorsed House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kellilher in an Aug. 10 primary.

Minnesota Republican Party Chairman Tony Sutton called Entenza's pick a "Hail Mary pass."

"Today's Hail Mary pass from Matt Entenza is the latest sign of a desperate campaign," Sutton said. "Lagging far behind his fellow Democrats in third place, Entenza decided to throw deep on fourth and long. Unfortunately for Entenza, his running mate's glamour can't make his long record as a tax and spend liberal who will raise taxes and increase spending any more appealing."

Entenza said journalists are more than one-dimension and many have done well in politics, naming off former U.S. Sen. Rod Grams, a TV anchor, and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, a former Star Tribune of Minneapolis reporter.

"I'm so proud of this appointment," he said. "Anyone who doesn't recognize that we need some new outside voices, that the same old tired cynical voices that exist in the State Capitol that and squabble and call one another names is not what the public wants."

Entenza also announced that Pam McCrory of Bemidji is serving has deputy field director for the campaign, and will be assisted by Mike Simpkins of Bemidji.

bswenson@bemidjipioneer.com

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