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Prettner Solon promises to keep her eye on the issues facing greater Minnesota

Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon addresses some 600 people Monday at the Landmark Center in St. Paul. Tribune photo by Don Davis

ST. PAUL -- Yvonne Prettner Solon is walking into the lieutenant governor's office as a greater Minnesota advocate.

The Duluth resident, who gave up a state senator gig to be Mark Dayton's running mate, told about 600 people at St. Paul's Landmark Center that she knew "there were no easy solutions to the challenges we are facing."

But she said that the Dayton-Prettner Solon election is "a new page," presenting an opportunity to work together, as Dayton often encouraged in his 14-minute speech after the pair took office Monday.

"We extend a hand to all of you across the aisle, across the river, across the state," Prettner Solon said.

After saying she spent a dozen years on the Duluth City Council, Prettner Solon admitted to the crowd, and a statewide radio and Internet audience: "I am passionate about Duluth."

But, she quickly added, it is not just Duluth. "A decade ago I brought my passion for Duluth and all of greater Minnesota here to the state Capitol."

It was one of the few mentions of specific areas of the state during the hour-long inaugural ceremony. Dayton used Prettner Solon in areas outside of the Twin Cities during the campaign, especially in her own northeast.

President Doug Peterson of the National Farmers' Union Minnesota chapter was thinking about rural Minnesota during Dayton's speech.

"I heard there are going to be painful decisions going to be made," Peterson said.

To Peterson, that means Dayton will look for more funds for education, health and transportation programs, all vital to rural Minnesota.

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.