Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has officially announced his Chief of Staff Tina Flint Smith will be his running mate for the 2014 re-election campaign.
Dayton and Smith are both Minneapolis residents, going against the grain of the urban-rural balance typically sought for a ticket.
REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES RESPOND
Republican gubernatorial candidates Marty Seifert and Kurt Zellers said Dayton's all-Minneapolis ticket confirms an urban agenda.
"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," Seifert said in a statement. "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."
"It's again clear with the selection of Tina Smith that Gov. Dayton his administration have been far too focused on policies that benefit Minneapolis and St. Paul at the expense of Minnesotans across the state," Zellers said. "Dayton's policies, supported by Smith, have brought higher taxes, more wasteful government spending, and forced hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans to scramble to keep their health insurance policies."
TINA SMITH RESUME
Smith earned her MBA from the Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business. Her resume includes a stint with Planned Parenthood as a regional vice president and a 4-year term as former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak's chief of staff.
Last month, Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon told Dayton that she did not intend to run on the fall ticket. While in office, Prettner Solon led a task force on Capitol security and also spearheaded initiatives focusing on senior citizens, but her roles often had limited power.
"It wasn't a well-defined job," Prettner Solon admitted.
EXPLAINER: What does Lt. Governor do in Minnesota?
Before Tuesday's announcement, Dayton held a moment of silence for Joan Mondale, the wife of former Vice President Walter Mondale, who passed away Monday in hospice at the age of 83.
Jaime Tincher, who currently serves as Dayton's deputy chief of staff for legislative affairs, will replace Smith as chief of staff.