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Dayton names chief of staff, top aides

Posted by: Eric Roper under Minnesota campaigns Updated: December 10, 2010 - 10:15 AM

Gov.-elect Mark Dayton announced a host of new hires this morning, many of whom are familiar faces from his campaign.

Topping the list of hires announced this morning -- all of whom were women -- is Tina Flint Smith, Dayton's new chief of staff. Smith, a seasoned Minnesota political operative, was formerly chief of staff for Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak and is already aiding Dayton's transition.

Smith was also formerly the vice president of external affairs for Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota. This is not mentioned in the release, however.

When Sen. Paul Wellstone died in 2002, Smith served as former vice president Walter Mondale's campaign manager during his brief foray into the Senate race against Norm Coleman.

Dayton's deputy chief of staff will be his former campaign manager Dana Anderson. Anderson is also a veteran of Dayton's Senate office.

Andrea Mokros, who has held many roles for politicos in Minnesota and Washington, will become deputy chief of staff for communications and outreach. Most recently, Mokros could be seen on the campaign trail aiding DFL congressional candidate Tarryl Clark.

Katie Tinucci, the communciations director for the transition, will serve as Dayton's press secretary. Tinucci also held this role during the campaign.

Josie Johnson, a longtime civil rights and community activist, will serve as co-chair of Dayton's transition.

Finally, Fatima Villasenor, a bilingual clerk for the Hennepin County Domestic Abuse Service Center, will be a "senior aide" to the governor.

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