Dayton to choose lieutenant governor 'shortly'

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One day after Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon said she would not seek a second term on the DFL ticket with Gov. Mark Dayton, the governor on Wednesday said he planned to tap a running mate "shortly," the Associated Press reported.

Dayton has had some preliminary conversations with potential candidates, but he declined to say who he has talked to about the No. 2 job. He has until June to make a decision, but he said he would do it much sooner.

Who might replace Prettner Solon? Early speculation focused on Iron Range board commissioner Tony Sertich, Dayton's Chief of Staff Tina Smith and Assistant Senate Majority Leader Katie Sieben, all of whom have been mum on the topic, the Star Tribune reports.

Prettner Solon, 67, kept a relatively low profile and acknowledged that she and Dayton did not speak often. The former Duluth state senator often worked from Duluth. The Duluth News Tribune lists some of her top accomplishments, including leading a panel that examined Capitol security.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Prettner Solon said she had expected to be a bigger part of policy decisions in the Dayton administration, but she avoided criticizing Dayton. She said Dayton had neither encouraged her to stay or asked her to step aside. Dayton in a statement praised Prettner Solon as a “courageous champion” for Minnesota.

What does a lieutenant governor do, anyway? WCCO tackles that query in its Good Question feature. (“Not a lot,” one political observer says.)

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