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Forget 2016, 2018: Former Gov. Pawlenty declares political retirement

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With Governor Mark Dayton having declared his second term in office his last, there are naturally questions about who might step up to take the job in 2018 – but you can count former Governor Tim Pawlenty out.

In an interview with MPR News Friday morning, the Republican said "I consider myself retired politically," emphasizing that the standard "politicians don't say never" rule doesn't apply to him.

MPR says Pawlenty's name has come up as a possibility for the governor's office, but he insists that his political life is behind him.

But what about the presidency? A handful of national political figures have declared their candidacy for the White House in recent weeks, but don't expect Pawlenty to join them.

He ruled himself out almost two years ago as a 2016 contender, saying that while the GOP has plenty of strong candidates for the next run at the presidency, he isn't one of them.

Of course, Pawlenty did run for president in 2012, but became the CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable, an influential banking lobbying group, after his bid failed.

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