By Mike Kaszuba
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Steve Murphy, who said he had wanted to be named Mark Dayton’s new transportation commissioner, said Tuesday he had withdrawn from consideration.
Murphy said he had withdrawn because he did not have engineering expertise – and had harshly criticized former MnDOT Commissioner Carol Molnau for being unqualified for the job because she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.
More from Star Tribune
More from Hot Dish Politics
Flags at state and federal buildings in Minnesota to be flown at half-staff through Monday.
Legislative leaders are calling on Gov. Mark Dayton to call a special session to approve a public-works bill.
Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles sent a letter to the executive director of the Perpich Center for Arts Education, urging her to hand over information his office is seeking, or face sanction.
The declaration by Gov. Mark Dayton comes ahead of Beyoncé's fourth concert in Minnesota. She performs Monday night at TCF Bank Stadium.
Gov. Mark Dayton on Monday criticized the "disappointing" end of session, which collapsed in the final hours over transportation and bonding.