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Huntley picked for Dutcher ticket

The Northland could have a candidate in the state's top race this fall. Just who will be on the Democratic-Farmer-Labor ticket in the governor's race is being decided Saturday at the party convention in Minneapolis. State Auditor Judi Dutcher, on...

The Northland could have a candidate in the state's top race this fall.
Just who will be on the Democratic-Farmer-Labor ticket in the governor's race is being decided Saturday at the party convention in Minneapolis.
State Auditor Judi Dutcher, one of three seeking the DFL gubernatorial nomination, has tapped state Rep. Tom Huntley of Duluth as her running mate.
Huntley, 64, is serving his fifth term in the House. He is also director of institutional relations and an associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Minnesota-Duluth School of Medicine.
{IMG2}He served on the Duluth City Council from 1982-86 and was a port authority commissioner from 1988-93.
"She'll be a great governor -- the most electable candidate," Huntley said. "Any way I can help her, I'm glad to do it."
Huntley said Dutcher asked him to join the ticket on Monday, and they made the official announcement at a Thursday press conference.
He said his wife and daughter were present at the announcement and have encouraged him to go for the job. Huntley had earlier announced he was endorsing Dutcher for the DFL ticket.
"She has strong positions on education, the environment and health care," he said, "areas that I feel strong about."
He has served on the Health and Human Service Committee and sponsored or authored health- and education-related legislation.
Huntley said that the position of lieutenant governor to her will be a real job in the administration rather than just a title.
"I'm not interested in spending the next four years in going to weddings, funerals, ribbon cuttings and bar mitzvahs," he said, but he acknowledged he would as well as taking an active role in policy making.
"It's been 16 years since the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party elected a governor," Huntley said. "Gov. Perpich was elected in 1986 for two reasons -- he connected with the people, and he had a bold vision."
He said Dutcher is the same type of visionary.
Dutcher was first elected state auditor in 1994 and 1998 as a Republican. In 1999 she switched to the DFL.
"I have known Tom Huntley for several years and his steady manner and wisdom on a wide array of issues at the state capitol have impressed me, and during his career in the state House of Representatives he has shown a creative dedication to advancing progressive solutions to the challenges facing Minnesota," Dutcher said. "No challenges facing Minnesota are greater than the future of our public education system and the public's access to high quality, affordable health care."
State Sens. Roger Moe of Erskine and Becky Lourey of Kerrick are also seeking the DFL endorsement for governor. Lourey has picked former newspaper executive Joel Kramer for her running mate.
If he and Dutcher are successful this weekend, Huntley is ready for a busy campaign schedule.
"There'll be a lot of parades this summer," he said.

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