In a show of mayoral solidarity, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman on Thursday gave Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak's gubernatorial run his nod.
Coleman, who had contemplated a gubernatorial bid of his own last year, called Rybak “the best person to lead the state of Minnesota, the best person to be elected governor, the best person to take the state where it needs to go.”
Rybak is vying for the DFL endorsement next week at the state convention in Duluth. Rybak said he will end his bid if he doesn't win the endorsement.
Coleman said he’s not a delegate at the convention, but his 18-year-old daughter is.
“Am I going to bring a mass of delegates to the convention? No. But do I think I can be persuasive with a lot of people who are currently undecided? I think so.”
Rybak and Coleman reiterated several times during the news conference that the two have not always agreed.
“St. Paul and Minneapolis will always have this friendly rivalry,” Coleman said.
With all of the mayoral love in the room, a reporter asked if there was any chance of a Rybak/Coleman ticket.
“Absolutely not,” Coleman said with a laugh.
After the news conference, Rybak addressed a Hot Dish question about former Vice President Walter Mondale endorsing House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher earlier this week.
“I have a huge respect for Walter Mondale, but I think from the beginning we expected that many of the established party leaders made commitments before I got into the race,” Rybak said. “Obviously we want everyone’s endorsement, and I have a deep respect for the vice president, but I think that was expected from the beginning.”
For the endorsement, Rybak faces Kelliher, state Rep. Tom Rukavina, state Rep. Paul Thissen and state Sen. John Marty.
Here's the endorsement news release from the Rybak campaign:
April 15, 2010 (SAINT PAUL) — Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman today announced his endorsement of Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak for governor.
“Without question, the field for the DFL endorsement is strong and I admire the talents and efforts of many of our candidates. I am compelled to stand with R.T. today because there is too much at stake to remain silent. It’s critical that Minnesota send someone to the Capitol who can put our financial house in order and get our economy moving again.”
“R.T. has been a partner and a friend, and I am endorsing him for governor because of his executive experience: he knows what it’s like to make the tough choices in tough times. Now more than ever that’s what we need in our next Governor,” Mayor Coleman said.
“Being a mayor is about getting results, and I’ve seen R.T. get results,” Mayor Coleman continued. “He and I have worked together to create good jobs, build a 21st-century clean-energy economy, fight for strong, safe neighborhoods and build the modern transportation system that our region deserves. All of Minnesota needs results like these.”
“I’m truly grateful for Chris Coleman’s endorsement because since he took office, Chris has been one of my closest partners — and I look forward to a continued collaboration when I am governor,” said Mayor R.T. Rybak. “His advice and support are especially valuable because he knows first-hand, as few others do, about the challenges and rewards of serving as a chief executive.”
Mayor Rybak continued, “Chris is a statewide leader in the fight to make sure that all Minnesota cities, large and small, get the support they need to focus on the basics: keeping people safe in their homes and on the street, keeping our roads and bridges in good shape and keeping property taxes down. When I am governor, I will keep working closely with Chris and mayors across Minnesota to make sure they have all the tools they need to get results and build strong economies for their communities.”