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Editorial: Dayton trumpets growth in Minnesota

Gov. Mark Dayton and Minnesota are continuing their respective recoveries. Dayton from his recent hip surgery and Minnesota in continuing its rebound from the recent recession.

During the next six months, Dayton and his opponents - primarily Republicans - will be involved in a bruising political battle in the governor’s race.

Dayton delivered a 48-minute speech Wednesday night addressing the State of the State. He trumpeted the accomplishments of his administration toward a better Minnesota: a growth in jobs, tax relief for middle- and low-income Minnesotans, an anti-bullying measure, an increase in the minimum wage, streamlining state government and establishing MNsure, the health insurance exchange, which is now reaching enrollment targets.

The governor also outlined his priorities for the remainder of the 2014 legislative session, particularly his belief that the bonding bill should be increased to $1.2 billion.

Republicans have dismissed Dayton’s address as just a start of his re-election campaign. They are calling for a smaller bonding total of $850 million. They criticize Dayton on last year’s budget and that he has been an underachieving leader. And they criticize him for claiming credit for successes created by hard-working Minnesotans.

Dayton has been fortunate to experience a rebounding state economy, which has helped facilitate a state surplus and helped the Legislature remove several tax increases this year. The governor was also helped by the Democrats taking control of the House and Senate in 2012.

With the Legislature scheduled to end in three weeks, the 2014 election season will begin in earnest as Dayton and his opponents take to the campaign trail.

On Nov. 4, the voters will make their decision on the governor for the next four years.