After a national search, the Star Tribune Opinion team is excited to announce the addition of Minnesota native and four-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Mike Thompson as staff editorial cartoonist.

Thompson, who expects to join us in mid-April, has appeared on our pages a few times, most recently before and after his beloved Minnesota Vikings lost in the first round of this year's NFL playoffs. But he's best known to readers in Michigan, where he had an award-winning 21-year run at the Detroit Free Press before joining USA Today in 2019.

Yet Thompson, who was born in Mankato and spent much of his youth in Minneapolis, never lost touch with his home state, where several of his family members still live.

"I make a mean tater tot hot dish, I can dock a pontoon boat in my sleep, and I'll go to my grave believing that Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson pushed off against Vikings defender Nate Wright to catch the winning touchdown pass in the 1975 NFC Divisional Playoff game," he wrote in his application letter.

Thompson says he's looking forward to connecting with Star Tribune readers and enhancing our daily opinion coverage. "Using humor, common sense and dynamic artwork, the goal of an editorial cartoonist is to entertain and make people think," he said.

Thompson will focus on state and local topics but also offer cartoons on national issues. His cartoons will appear up to five days a week in print, and online readers will find occasional animated opinion pieces and special projects.

Since Steve Sack's retirement last spring, we've been searching for a creative, dedicated opinion journalist who will build on the Star Tribune's reputation for leading-edge editorial cartooning. Mike Thompson is the right choice to carry on that tradition.

Scott Gillespie is the editorial page editor.