Entenza taps TV personality as mate in MN gov race
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Democrat Matt Entenza named longtime Twin Cities TV personality Robyne Robinson as his running mate in the governor's race on Thursday, making an unconventional choice as he heads into a tough three-way primary contest.
Entenza revealed the pick on his Twitter account before holding a news conference with Robinson on the Capitol steps.
"She is not a political insider, but a trusted voice in our living rooms," Entenza said.
A day earlier, Robinson ended a 20-year career at KMSP, the Twin Cities Fox station, where she was the first African-American to anchor a local prime-time newscast. She is also known for her involvement in the Minnesota arts community.
When she announced her resignation earlier this month, Robinson had said she planned to focus on her design work, including her own line of jewelry. But speculation about a move to politics built after she said earlier this week she was asked to join Entenza's ticket as the lieutenant governor candidate.
Robinson doesn't have the public policy experience of rival running mates such as former state Finance Commissioner John Gunyou, who is on the ticket with House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, or think tank leader Annette Meeks, Republican Tom Emmer's second.
Her selection shows that Entenza, a former state representative, is trying to shake things up as he faces Kelliher and former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton in the Aug. 10 Democratic primary. Kelliher is the party's endorsed candidate, and Dayton has the highest name recognition in the race.
Entenza, who has been out of politics since 2006, has been running TV ads reintroducing himself to Minnesota viewers since April.
Robinson isn't the first KMSP personality to move into politics. One of her former co-anchors, Rod Grams, made the transition almost two decades ago, winning a U.S. House seat in 1992 and moving up to the Senate for one term.
Dayton's running mate is state Sen. Yvonne Prettner Solon of Duluth.
The Independence Party candidate, Tom Horner, is due to announce his lieutenant governor pick on Tuesday.