Former state Sen. Bob Lessard — who’s a big name in the outdoors sports world and has been all over the political map — has endorsed DFLer Mark Dayton in the governor’s race.
The Lessard-Sams Council — which governs Legacy Amendment funds dedicated to game, fish and wildlife — is named in his honor.
Lessard was once a DFLer, then went to the Independence Party and finally covered the rest of the spectrum by endorsing Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Sen. Norm Coleman and chairing the Sportsmen for Bush campaign.
“Mark Dayton has made the strongest commitment to hunters and anglers that I have seen from any gubernatorial candidate in my political career. Endorsing Mark is a matter of integrity. In the past, I’ve endorsed some Republicans because they were on the right side of the issues that matter to me and the issues that matter to sportsmen and sportswomen. In this race, Mark Dayton is on the right side of those issues — he supported the Legacy Amendment from Day One. I support Mark because he supports sportsmen and sportswomen. With him, hunters, anglers, and conservationists will have a friend in the governor’s office.”
Notes Strib Outdoors Editor Dennis Anderson:
Dayton has pledged to veto any attempts to supplant Legacy Amendment funds from their Constitutionally-dedicated purpose, the creation of a Governor’s Pheasant Opener tradition, increased access to public lands, better fisheries and wildlife protection, and a reformed DNR that will be more responsive to citizens.