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DFL formally endorses Dayton; candidate gives them red meat before annual barbecue

An inspired Mark Dayton delivered a rousing speech to about 400 DFL faithful today at the party’s Central Committee meeting in St. Paul.

An inspired Mark Dayton delivered a rousing speech to about 400 DFL faithful today at the party’s Central Committee meeting in St. Paul.

His remarks came soon after the assembled delegates voted by acclamation to endorse Dayton and his running mate, Sen. Yvonne Prettner Solon, as the party’s candidates for governor and lieutenant governor.

Dayton, of course, defeated the party’s previously endorsed candidate, Margaret Anderson Kelliher, in the August 10 primary election.

“It’s great to be together again on the same side,” Dayton told the DFL activists. “Margaret ran a great campaign, and the DFL party gave a tremendous effort in her behalf.  … That’s why it was so close and that’s why it’s so hard. But [what] would be much harder and much worse for us … would be four years under Gov. Tom Emmer.”

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Dayton went on to criticize Emmer, the GOP candidate,  and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner for not being willing to increase the income taxes of the state’s richest citizens.

In recent years, Dayton said, most of the tax burden has fallen on middle-income and working Minnesotans.

“It’s fundamentally unfair, it’s fundamentally wrong.  Tom Emmer and Tom Horner think it’s terrific, and Yvonne and I think it’s terrible,” he said to a roaring crowd of supporters, adding: “I think most Minnesotans who can afford to pay more taxes — the top 10 percent — are  willing to do so  … for the sake of the future of Minnesota. And on November second we’ll find out.”

He vowed an end to the “bashing” of teachers and public employees during his administration and support for “universal health care” in the state.

After all that red meat, the delegates and others moved on to the party’s annual barbecue, where Emmer and Horner were most likely on the menu.