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Gov. Dayton to have back surgery at Mayo Clinic Monday

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Gov. Mark Dayton will undergo back surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester Monday morning, his office announced Sunday afternoon.

Dayton, 68, had a similar procedure in 2012 when surgeons fused two vertebrae in his lower back.

He is having the elective procedure done to improve the strength and stability in his legs, WCCO reports, adding that Dayton said he expects to see improvements after Monday’s surgery.

Dayton also had surgery in recent years to repair a tendon in his hip, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

“I want to assure everyone that this procedure will not diminish either my capacity to fulfill my duties as Governor, or my passion for serving the people of Minnesota," said Dayton in his statement, according to the Pioneer Press.

The operation is scheduled for Monday at 7:30 a.m., and Dayton will be under general anesthesia. Dayton will remain at Mayo for a few days of recovery time, and will be in contact with his staff and commissioners while there.

According to his office, Dayton expects to resume his regular schedule in about a week.

One pressing item on the governor's agenda is to choose a new commissioner to run the Department of Human Services. Current commissioner Lucinda Jesson is leaving the job after Dayton appointed her to the Minnesota Court of Appeals on Friday.

Jesson's last day at DHS is Monday, and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith is scheduled to announce her replacement on Monday.

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