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Edina's Michele Tafoya said goodbye to sports broadcasting at Super Bowl 56, but her next career step was announced less than 12 hours later.

Tafoya's last contribution as the sideline reporter for NBC Sports was interviewing the Rams' Super Bowl-winning defensive tackle Aaron Donald, and a short time later signed off with a goodbye and thank you from host Al Michaels.

"We love you. You've been so much fun," Michaels said, with Tafoya waving and blowing a kiss.

On Monday morning, it was announced that Tafoya has been appointed as the co-chair of the campaign to elect Republican Kendall Qualls as Minnesota governor.

Qualls, who ran an unsuccessful campaign to unseat Dean Phillips in Minnesota's 3rd District, announced that Tafoya will lead up his campaign alongside co-chair David Frauenshuh, a Twin Cities real estate developer.

"After taking a step back from the sports broadcasting world, I'm honored that my next phase involves supporting Kendall for his run for governor of Minnesota," Tafoya said.

"Kendall has a clear message that resonates with the issues Minnesotans face under the current administration."

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Qualls, a former U.S. Army captain, faces stiff competition in the race to face Gov. Tim Walz, with the likes of former Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, ex-state Sen. Dr. Scott Jensen, current state Sen. Michelle Benson, and former Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek in the running. Qualls came tied-fourth in a recent straw poll of Republican precinct caucuses attendees.

He last year founded TakeCharge, a group that rejects the notion that systemic racism exists within the United States, and teamed up with conservative think tank the Center of the American Experiment for a tour across Minnesota railing against so-called critical race theory.

Qualls cites his own success as proof against the notion that America is a "racist country," highlighting his achievements in business and the military after being brought up in poverty in Harlem and Oklahoma.

Tafoya attracted controversy during an appearance co-hosting The View on ABC in December, during which she pushed back against critical race theory and defended those who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

She was formerly the host and sideline reporter for KFAN between 1994 and 1998, worked as a sports anchor at WCCO-TV, and also left her role on Tom Barnard's KQRS Morning Show in March 2020, after four years as co-host.

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