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Continued: New state economist Kalambokidis takes over from 'legend'

  • Article by: BAIRD HELGESON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 14, 2014 - 8:04 PM

“I have to step aside for a moment and say, ‘Where am I hearing this from? Is it giving me a clue about something I have overlooked?’ ”

But the trick is not placing too much weight on individual stories, but rather using them to lead to what might be a deeper truth.

“We have to be gut-checking that,” Kalambokidis said. “It’s a challenge. But we use the anecdotes as clues.”

Kalambokidis is still emerging from the shadow of Stinson, who held the job for 26 years and served administrations of all political stripes.

“He knew everything,” she said. “I am trying to replicate his success as much as possible.”

Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter said Kalambokidis is acutely aware that she is replacing “the legend.”

“She both wants to do no harm and make it better,” Schowalter said. “That’s a tough line to walk.”

  • related content

  • State Economist Laura Kalambokidis explains part of the state's budget forecast, Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 in St. Paul, Minn. Minnesota's projected budget surplus swelled to $1.233 billion, giving lawmakers more leeway to pursue tax cuts and increased spending this session. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

  • For state economist Laura Kalambokidis, center, shaping the economic forecast can become a mix of art, science and questioning.

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