[Note: I interviewed Governor Mark Dayton late yesterday afternoon at the Governor's Residence in St. Paul. I will be publishing a series of posts today about my interview with Governor Dayton. Click here for my first post.]
Governor Mark Dayton's service in public office began in 1990, when he elected as Minnesota's State Auditor. After serving one term in the U.S. Senate from 2001 to 2007, Dayton was elected governor in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.
While Dayton said yesterday that he is "not a natural politician," Dayton's political career has spanned three decades and according to his approval numbers from last year, coupled with his decisive re-election victory, Minnesotans like Dayton and the job he is doing as governor.
As Dayton finishes his last term as the chief executive of State of Minnesota, Dayton shows no signs of slowing down in his last years in public office.
"I am dedicated to the cause of making this a better state," said Dayton.
When asked what he would like to accomplish in his final term as governor, Dayton first response was "transportation." Dayton has proposed an extensive transportation plan to address Minnesota's transportation infrastructure, which Dayton has described as "inadequate, congested, and needing repairs."
Dayton next mentioned water quality, which would focuses on his plan to "modernize Minnesota’s aging wastewater and drinking water infrastructure, and protect groundwater from contamination."
Dayton also discussed education, an area where Dayton said Minnesota has made "major strides forward," with the start of all-day kindergarten in 2014. Dayton said his earlier work experience as a school teacher in New York City and Boston continues to have a "huge impact" on his focus on education as governor.
Finally, Dayton said he is concerned about possible economic downturn and he is committed to being "a wise steward" of Minnesota's resources, as Dayton said "I don't want to leave the state in the learch as I walk into it," in 2010.
Since Dayton will not seek an additional term as governor, political speculation has already shifted to the 2018 race for governor in Minnesota.
Dayton said if he has preference on a specificate candidate for governor, he "will state it," but Dayton added whoever runs, "they're going to have to earn it on their own,"
Picture source: David Joles, Star Tribune