Annette Meeks has many of the conservative chops that likely explain why Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer selected her as his running mate.
Policy experience? Check.
Backing of anti-abortion groups? Check.
Political connections? Double check.
Written about abolishing the $78,000-a-year lieutenant governor’s office? Check.
Yes, Meeks spent nine years at the Center of the American Experiment. There she led creation of the Minnesota Policy Blueprint, a review of state government through conservative eyes.
Policy wonks didn’t have to read past the second page to see, “Recommendation: Eliminate the office of lieutenant governor.”
“It is our view that, historically, lieutenant governors seldom have been chosen primarily because they would be good successors to their governors,” the group wrote. “Instead, they often have been selected for political reasons (to ‘balance the ticket’ by gender, by ideology, or by geography, for example).”
The report noted that choosing a running mate right before the convention adds to this tendency.
So it should be noted that Emmer, a man, named Meeks, a woman, his running mate days before the state endorsing convention in Minneapolis.
“As it currently stands, we do not believe that a lieutenant governor performs a necessary function,” the group wrote.
The Blueprint argued that the secretary of state would be a logical pick to fill in for the governor if the state’s highest-elected official were unable to do the job.
In this case, that would be Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, a Democrat.