DFL Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday he will not appeal a recent district court decision that overturned his order for an election among child care workers on whether to unionize.

"Although I strongly disagree with the court's decision, I will not appeal it," Dayton said in a statement.

Instead, Dayton said, "I will work toward electing a new Legislature, which will support the right of working people to decide for themselves whether or not they want to join a union."

Two months ago, Ramsey County Judge Dale Lindman ruled that Dayton's executive order for a union election among 4,300 child care workers "improperly superseded the Legislature's authority and violated the separation of powers clause as set forth in the Minnesota Constitution." Tuesday was Dayton's deadline to appeal that ruling.

Republican lawmakers and conservative groups upbraided the governor for unilaterally ordering the election for child care workers who get subsidies from the state.

House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, has appealed to those who oppose unionization of child care workers to re-elect a Republican Legislature. Last week, when he led about four dozen GOP candidates to file their candidacies, he mentioned it as a prime reason to support Republicans.

"It has come up more than the [Vikings] stadium," Zellers said of the child care unionization issue.

Since the April order, the issue has publicly lain fallow, but Dayton's and Zellers' statements will keep it alive for voters going to the polls this fall.

Rachel E. Stassen-Berger • Twitter: @rachelsb