Gov. Mark Dayton on Friday called his former foe Rod Grams to thank him.
Grams, whom Dayton ousted from the U.S. Senate in 2000, is felled by cancer and now in hospice care.
"We had a very cordial conversation," Dayton, a Democrat, said of his former Republican opponent in a statement provided to the Star Tribune. "I thanked him for his dedicated public service, as both a U.S. Senator and Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and also for his civic contributions as a private citizen."
Grams won a seat in the U.S. House in 1992 and went on to the Senate two years later only to lose to Dayton after one term by Dayton.
The governor, who stepped down from the Senate after one term himself, said last week that their contest was an honorable one.
"My heart goes out to him and his family. We had a good battle, an honorable contest," Dayton said. He said Grams distinguished himself in a public service in the House and the Senate, "to the people of Minnesota and I'm very sorry it has come to this."
Their 2000 contest was marked by heavy personal financing and bus trips to Canada from Dayton and perhaps the most Minnesota campaign ad ever to run on Minnesota television.
The "Uff Da" ad did not overcome a Dayton advantage. He won that race 49 percent to Grams' 43 percent.