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Contributors in Minnesota: Patrick Condon, J. Patrick Coolican, Patricia Lopez, Ricardo Lopez, Abby Simons, Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glen Stubbe. Contributors in D.C.: Allison Sherry and Jim Spencer.

Dayton is embraced at Pride parade

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger under Minnesota governor, Gov. Mark Dayton, Democrats Updated: June 26, 2011 - 4:44 PM

Gov. Mark Dayton pledged to oppose an anti-gay marriage amendment with "every fiber" of his being. Sunday he took his fibers to the Twin Cities Gay Pride parade to join leathermen, minnesota's biggest businesses, families and lots and lots of rainbow dogs in advocating for gay rights.

The buttoned-down, 64-year-old DFL governor marched in the parade to great welcome. He is the first Minnesota governor to join the parade.

Repeatedly the cheering crowd thanked him for his presence and begged to shake his hand or give him a grateful hug.

But they, like he, kept the budget mess at the fore.

"Go get 'em," Tommy Russell shouted at the governor.

"Don't cave," the crowd instructed.

"Hold your ground," one woman told him.

"Don't back down! Don't back down," a contingent chanted.

"Ill be out of work for a week or two," state worker leather-clad Nonie Wirth told Dayton. But she said, she could deal with a brief shutdown. "I know it's for the good of everybody."

Dayton, who will return to the Capitol this afternoon for his third straight day of negotiating with Republicans, said the trip away from the bargaining table "definitely energized" him.  He took a moment to chat with a staffer, climbed into his big, black Suburban security car and headed to the capitol.

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