Outgoing Senate Transportation Chair Steve Murphy, who said he had wanted to be named Mark Dayton’s new transportation commissioner, said Tuesday he had withdrawn from consideration.
Murphy said he had withdrawn because he did not have engineering expertise – and had harshly criticized former MnDOT Commissioner Carol Molnau for being unqualified for the job because she did not have engineering expertise.
His comments came one day after Murphy said he was actively hoping to be considered for the job.
“I criticized Carolyn Molnau terribly for not being a professional engineer, and not being a professional transportation person,” said Murphy, who led the fight to oust Molnau from her MnDOT job following the Interstate 35W bridge collapse in 2007.
“It would be kind of hypocritical for me to take the job, not being a licensed construction engineer,” he said.
Murphy said he had not talked to Dayton, the DFL gubernatorial candidate whose apparent victory last week is now subject to a state recount.
On Monday, Murphy had said he wanted to be considered. “If it’s not going to be [current MnDOT Commissioner] Tom Sorel, then I would like to be considered,” he said.
“The recount has to happen, first,” he added.
But Murphy also said he supported having Sorel continue in the job during a DFL administration. Sorel was appointed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty after Molnau was ousted. “Tom Sorel’s done a good job and, if there’s going to be any holdovers at all, it should be Tom Sorel,” he said.
In a resounding rebuke, Democrats joined with Republicans Wednesday to hand Barack Obama the first veto override of his presidency, voting overwhelmingly to allow families of Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts for its alleged backing of the attackers.