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.
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Willmar native Tom Erickson is U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen's new communications director. Erickson, who has worked for Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, is leaving a job as National Republican Congressional Committee press secretary. His twin brother, Nick, works for the Minnesota Republican Party. "I am very excited to have an experienced communicator like Tom join our team," Paulsen said.
ST. PAUL -- Mark Dayton made one promise, in particular, hundreds of times in two years campaigning to become Minnesota's governor. It seldom differed much from what he said last January: "I promise that I will increase state funding for K-12 public education in real dollars every year I'm governor. No exceptions, no excuses." That was then, this is now: "I will do my utmost." What changed from "no exceptions, no excuses" to doing his "utmost?" Political and fiscal reality. The Democrat had been governor-elect only a couple of hours when he began to back away from campaign rhetoric.
ST. PAUL -- There is no doubt the election is over: Democrat Mark Dayton, Minnesota's governor elect, and Republican Tim Pawlenty, who holds the office until Jan.
Remarks made by Gov.-elect Mark Dayton Wednesday: This morning I received a telephone call from Representative Tom Emmer conceding the election for Governor of Minnesota. The day after the election, I received a similar call from Mr. Tom Horner.
ST. PAUL -- Mark Dayton promises to work with Republicans and Democrats alike now that he is Minnesota's governor-elect. "You were elected on your platforms and principles; I was elected on mine," the Democrat said to Republicans who will control the Legislature. "I believe the collective wisdom of the electorate is that they want part of what each of us offers, and they want us to work together to solve the state's budget crisis." Dayton made his remarks in a Capitol news conference less than four hours after Tom Emmer conceded the race.
DELANO - Tom Emmer left the Minnesota governor's race at home, surrounded by family and leaving open the option of running for office again. Emmer stood outside his Delano home in a sport coat, without gloves, this morning and said he would not take the election to court, adding that everyone needs to support Democrat Mark Dayton as he prepared to take office Jan.
ST. PAUL -- Tom Emmer apparently is leaving the Minnesota governor's race at his home, an appropriate ending to a campaign in which he discussed his wife and seven children more than any other topic. Numerous reports indicate that what his campaign calls a "major announcement" this morning will be the Delano Republican conceding to Mark Dayton, opening the door for a Democrat to become the first Minnesota governor since Rudy Perpich left office 20 years ago. With Dayton leading the race by 8,720 votes following a statewide hand recount, Emmer already knew he could not win that way.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's economy is improving, but don't look for it to be back at full strength any time soon. State Economist Tom Stinson predicts that the economy will not rise back to pre-recession levels for at least two more years. There has been good news for agriculture, health care and tourism industries in recent months. And Minnesota sales to other countries are looking up.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's Republican chairman called reporters to his office a block north of the state Capitol the day after the election to outline what he saw as irregularities in voting, irregularities he said could affect the governor's race. "The race for governor is not over," Tony Sutton declared in an emotional, rising voice. "We are concerned there are so many discrepancies." He wanted all the publicity he could get, complaining about Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and how the Nov. 2 election was run. Fast forward to the past few days and find a different Tony Sutton.
ST. PAUL -- A recount that ended Friday did not deliver Tom Emmer the votes he needs to win Minnesota's governorship, but he is not giving up until he gets a few more answers. When Hennepin County election officials ended their work, the five-day recount of all 2.1 million ballots cast Nov. 2 wrapped up with Democrat Mark Dayton leading by about the same as when it started, about 9,000 votes.