ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton answered a question that's been the subject of much debate the past few weeks, when he introduced his current Chief of Staff Tina Smith as his new running mate.
Dayton is replacing outgoing Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon, who recently announced she would only serve one term.
When introducing her, Dayton described Smith as "the best public servant I've ever seen," and credited her deft problem solving skills for paving the way to legislative agreements on the new Vikings stadium and the Mayo Clinic expansion.
As part of the re-structuring of his administration, Dayton announced that beginning Tuesday, February 11, Jaime Tincher will serve as his new Chief of Staff. Tincher, who currently serves as Governor Dayton's Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative Affairs, will replace Smith.
It didn't take long for Dayton's opponents to weigh in on his selection. Republican Gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert released a written statement saying the choice of Smith reflects Dayton's lack of interest in greater Minnesota.
"While the policies of Mark Dayton's first term have already put Greater Minnesota on the back burner, his selection of another Minneapolis resident for the 2014 LG position only confirms that this disregard for Minnesotans outside of the urban core will continue. Smith, like Dayton, is strongly tied to the Minneapolis class of DFL, liberal elite who don't come close to understanding the needs of most in our state. As Dayton's Chief of Staff for the last three years, Smith has orchestrated an explosion in the size, power and scope of state government at the expense of middle-class Minnesotans. With the current Speaker of the House also residing from Minneapolis, this move signals a disturbing trend. I look forward to holding this team accountable for their policies as we move closer to the November elections."