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Rybak nixes idea of running as Dayton’s lieutenant governor

The outgoing Minneapolis mayor has an interest in running for governor again, “But I wouldn’t do it that way.”

Gov. Mark Dayton may need a new running mate for 2014; it won't be outgoing Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.
MinnPost photo by James Nord

With his new job as executive director of an education group, outgoing Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak has muzzled any suggestion he would be Gov. Mark Dayton’s new running mate next year.

Rybak announced Wednesday he has taken a post as executive director of Generation Next, a group whose goal is to narrow the racial achievement gap in the state’s K-12 school system.  

But in a brief interview at a business event Monday, Rybak made it clear he has designs on the governor’s office, although he doesn’t plan to get the job running as lieutenant governor. “I certainly would like to run for governor,” he said. “But I wouldn’t do it that way.”

Rybak ran for the DFL endorsement for governor in 2010, which he lost to Margaret Anderson Kelliher, who then lost to Dayton in the primary.

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As MinnPost first reported, Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon has suggested she might not be part of the Dayton ticket next year. Her hesitance has produced a guessing game of top political names as possible replacements. DFL party Chair Ken Martin, who would likely be part of a vetting committee, said Prettner Solon is still in, as far as he’s concerned.

“At this point we have a lieutenant governor candidate, Yvonne,” Martin said.  “I think the governor made it very clear if Yvonne wants to run again on the ticket, that would great. They are going to sit down and talk before the end of the year.”

As for Rybak’s political future, working for Generation Next will give him ample opportunity to network with power players.  University of Minnesota president Eric Kaler and General Mills Foundation President Kim Nelson are co-chairs of the board that includes prominent education and business leaders.