Faced with the prospect of an all Republican state Legislature, Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday appeared defiant as he warned Republicans not to bring more political gridlock as legislative leaders prepare to set a new two-year budget next spring.
"I'll do everything I can to, again, find common ground and compromise where necessary on budget numbers, but they're going to have to be willing to do the same," Dayton said Wednesday at a news conference.
"I would hope that they would learn the lesson" from the 2011 government shutdown, Dayton said, adding: "If they want to repeat that folly and refuse to compromise and force a shutdown, they do so at their peril."
Dayton said Wednesday that he accepted the election results and expressed concerned over the narrow political divide evident in how close the presidential race was in Minnesota. Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, won the reliably-blue state by less than 2 points in a race that wasn't called until Wednesday morning.
"Minnesotans are very narrowly divided," Dayton said. "It's clear in the vote for president. It's very clear in the vote for the number of contested congressional races. it was very clear in the vote for the Minnesota Legislature.
"We are a closely divided electorate in Minnesota and in the country," Dayton said. "The question now for all of us who have a responsibility to lead is are we going to push those divides farther or are we going to do what we can to rise above them and bring people together?"