From left, Judie Fos speaks to Gov. Mark Dayton as Suzanne Edwards, Mary Gross and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith prepare to have their photo taken on Saturday night at the North Star Ball at St. Paul's Union Depot. More photos by Aaron Lavinsky can be found here.
Gov. Mark Dayton, dressed casually in jeans and a shirt with sleeves rolled up, thanked his supporters in very brief remarks at his inaugural ball Saturday night at the newly renovated Union Depot in downtown St. Paul.
He said that in deference to the event's sponsors he wanted to keep it nonpartisan and non-political, so, "That doesn't give me much to talk about," he said.
Dayton reflected wistfully and briefly on his three decades of public life and thanked long time supporters.
"It means so much to me that you're here," he said, before introducing new Lt. Gov. Tina Smith.
Rep. Erin Murphy sought to get the crowd enthused: "Do you feel mighty?" she said to cheers.
The several hundred gathered to celebrate the Dayton victory, who paid $25 for tickets ($15 for students) got warmed up with a DJ, cash bar and finger food.
State Auditor Rebecca Otto, Secretary of State Steve Simon and a handful of legislators, cabinet members and other politicos were in attendance.
Gail and Joel Roberts, who live in Mendota Heights but raised their three boys in St. Paul, said they were there to celebrate the governor's victory. The retired math professor and early chlidhood educator said they appreciated Dayton's commitment to education.
"It has the feel of the people's inaugural," Gail Roberts said.
The crowd's attire ranged from jeans to a stylish white dinner jacket worn by Kader Toovi, who was celebrating after working on the campaign of Sen. Al Franken. His date Toni Ojoyeyi wore a subtly sparkly dress.
The Governor's Inaugural Committee is what's known as a 527 organization, which refers to an IRS term. It will report its contributions and expenses by July 31, 2015.
Major sponsors included Pentair, Delta, AFSCME, the laborers union, 3M, Cargill, CenterPoint Energy, Enbridge, Thomson Reuters, and the law firms of Faegre Baker Daniels and Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi.