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Marty picks running mate: state Sen. Patricia Torres Ray

State Sen. John Marty — in the hunt for the DFL nomination to run for governor — became the first DFLer to announced his running mate: a colleague, Sen. Patricia Torres Ray.

So the all-metro ticket has Marty, a seven-term senator from Roseville running with a first-term senator from Minneapolis who grew up in Colombia as his potential lieutenant govenor. She’s currently the Senate’s majority whip.

Torres Ray’s election in 2006 was hailed as a meteoric political event, as she beat out many better-known names for the DFL nomination to replace retiring Sen. Wes Skoglund. She told the Minneapolis Observer at the time that she’d been active in social issues, even growing up in South America:

“I was fortunate to have older siblings who were very involved in community work, so that was a great opportunity for me as a young woman to really be involved in a lot of initiatives, funded and initiated by the church. I had an opportunity through the church to do a lot of literacy teaching. I think I was mentored and trained early in my life to do community work and to work with low-income families.”

The bio on her campaign web site says:

I was born in 1964 in Colombia. I come from a family of eight siblings and a large extended family that maintains close ties. I lived with my family in Pasto until I met my husband, Jack, a student from the University of Minnesota, who had traveled to Colombia in a study abroad internship. We were married in 1987 and moved to Minnesota where I learned English, worked various jobs, and completed my education. I have two degrees from the University of Minnesota: a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Studies and a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs from the Humphrey Institute.

Marty was the DFL-endorsed candidate for governor in 1994 but lost the general election to Arne Carlson in a landslide.

The DFL nominating convention is April 23-25 in Duluth, but at least three of the other candidates plan to run in an August primary if they don’t get the nomination.

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