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Prettner Solon, Dayton quiet about running mate decision

Don Davis

Forum News Service

ST. PAUL — Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon may be parting ways —or may not —but they certainly agree on not talking about whether they will be running mates again this year.

Prettner Solon set off a media feeding frenzy this week when she responded to reporters’ questions by saying that she had decided whether she will be Dayton’s running mate in this year’s election. She said the governor knows her decision, but she refused to hint at what it is until she talks to him again Monday.

When reporters repeatedly asked Friday about his running mate, Dayton answered each time that he would not discuss the issue until after he and Prettner Solon meet at 3:30 p.m. Monday.

Governors pick lieutenant governor candidates to run with them. Dayton says he is running for his second term in November.

Longtime Minnesota political observer Blois Olson reported in his Morning Take newsletter Friday: “According to most insiders, Prettner Solon will almost certainly not be on the ticket with Dayton again this year.”

The most commonly mentioned name as a Prettner Solon replacement is Sen. Katie Sieben, D-Cottage Grove. Olson points out that Dayton campaign manager Katie Tinucci “is particularly close” to the senator.

Sieben could not immediately be reached for comment.

However, Olson added, many people probably are in the Dayton campaign’s vetting process. He suggested former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak as a possibility, although conventional political wisdom would not put people from the same city as running mates (Dayton lived in Minneapolis before moving to the state-owned St. Paul governor’s residence).

Last summer, Prettner Solon told reporters that she was rethinking whether she wanted to be lieutenant governor and would decide early this year. She said she and Dayton seldom talk and hinted that she was involved in few decisions.

Prettner Solon, a former state senator from Duluth, has worked on several issues as part of the national lieutenant governors’ association and represented Minnesota at events in travels around the country and world. But she and Dayton seldom are seen together in public.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.