ST. PAUL, Minn. - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Margaret Anderson Kelliher reached outside her party to tap former Republican administration appointee John Gunyou as her running mate, The Associated Press learned Friday.
The AP confirmed the selection with a person with direct knowledge of it, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because Kelliher, the House speaker, was due to make the formal announcement later Friday. A phone message left with Gunyou was not immediately returned.
Gunyou was a finance commissioner under GOP Gov. Arne Carlson. He now serves as city manager for Minnetonka, an affluent Minneapolis suburb.
The selection defies the usual considerations of geographic diversity: Kelliher and Gunyou live less than 10 miles apart. It could be a sign Kelliher is making a firm play for center-left voters in an August primary.
Among her primary challengers, former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton has appealed strongly to the party's left flank, particularly with his vocal call for higher income taxes. Former House Minority Leader Matt Entenza of St. Paul is also in the mix.
Neither Dayton nor Entenza have chosen a running mate. Both have until the June 1 candidate filing period to do so.
Kelliher won the DFL Party endorsement in April.
Republican-endorsed candidate Tom Emmer, a state legislator, has selected think-tank leader Annette Meeks as his No. 2. Public relations executive Tom Horner, the Independence Party's endorsed candidate, hasn't named his would-be lieutenant governor.
Although Gunyou served under a Republican governor, he hasn't embraced the party's current stance against new taxes.
When Minnesota was facing a $4 billion deficit in 2003, he advocated for tax increases to be part of the solution.
The cuts "are going to be too Draconian even for the hardliners," he said at the time.
After his stint as finance commissioner, Gunyou was executive director of the state's Office of Technology for about 18 months. He has also been an executive for MRNet, an Internet service provider and was a former chief financial officer for the parent company of Minnesota Public Radio.
Associated Press writer Martiga Lohn contributed to this report.