Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon on Tuesday said she will not join Gov. Mark Dayton for a second term, the Associated Press reports. She plans to finish her current term.
The Star Tribune had noted that the former state senator's relationship with Dayton has seemed distant, with Prettner Solon often working from an office in Duluth.
Prettner Solon had met privately with Gov. Dayton on Monday for about 40 minutes and did not speak with reporters afterward. From the Star Tribune's Rachel Stassen-Berger at Prettner Solon's news conference:
Dayton was in Washington for a governors' meeting with President Obama.
Prettner Solon, a former state senator from Duluth, gave Dayton's ticket some northern-Minnesota appeal, but she has kept a relatively low profile, except for a skydive she did to honor military families in 2012.
Word circulated last week that Prettner Solon had reached a decision about her political future. Forum News Service said that "Prettner Solon set off a media frenzy" when she responded to reporters’ questions by saying that she had decided whether to be Dayton’s running mate in November’s election. She said the governor knew her decision, but according to Northland's News Center, she would not hint at what that decision was until the two met.
Opting out of the Dayton ticket would hardly come as a surprise. In August, MinnPost carried a story suggesting that Prettner Solon was wavering about whether to re-up in a second Dayton term. The story indicated that the two rarely met face to face.
"We don’t really talk,” she said at the time. “We do chat at cabinet meetings and executive council meetings and some other occasions but talk? Not really.”
The name most commonly mentioned as a possible replacement for Prettner Solon is Sen. Katie Sieben, DFL-Cottage Grove, according to political insider Blois Olson. He adds, though, that many people are probably in Dayton’s vetting process, including former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.
In September, Politics in Minnesota ran a story with the headline "Is Katie Sieben Next in Line to Run with Gov. Dayton?" Written by former Senate staffer Michael Brodkorb, the article suggested that the DFL state senator from Newport was "the focus of the most speculation as Gov. Dayton’s new pick to be lieutenant governor." The story noted that Sieben worked for Dayton during his one term in the U.S. Senate. She comes from a prominent DFL family; her father Mike served in the House of Representatives and her uncle Harry was in the House for more than two decades, including as Speaker of the House.
One of the issues that Prettner Solon spent considerable time working on as lieutenant governor was a Capitol security bill. The bill, which cleared a six-member panel this week, did not include a ban on weapons.