He’s trailing by 8,755 votes heading into a recount, but Republican candidate for governor Tom Emmer sees the ballot box half-full, not half-empty, and has appointed Mike Vekich to head his transition team.
Vekich currently runs a management consulting firm. He’s a former director of the state lottery and was chair of Gov. Pawlenty’s 21st Century Tax Reform Commission. He sought the Republican nomination for governor in 2002 and had occasionally been mentioned as a possible candidate for governor this year.
Here’s the Emmer campaign’s statement on the appointment:
Tom Emmer today announced that Mike Vekich will serve as Director of the Emmer Transition. Vekich is the CEO of Vekich Associates, past Chair of Governor Pawlenty’s 21st Century Tax Reform Commission and Interim Director of Minnesota State Lottery among his many business and public service accomplishments. He is a Certified Public Accountant.
“As the canvassing and likely recount process continues, per State Law, preparing to govern is of great importance. I am proud to announce that Mike Vekich has agreed to serve as the Director of our transition,” said Representative Tom Emmer. “Mike is a distinguished businessman of the first rate who has continually stepped forward to serve the State of Minnesota in many capacities. His deep connection to our community and his unmatched understanding of Minnesota government makes him the ideal person to lead these efforts.”
As Director of the Emmer Transition, Vekich will lead the efforts to form a transition team and will work closely with Lieutenant Governor Candidate Annette Meeks to expand on the Emmer budget, beginning the process of reforming and redesigning Minnesota State Government.
“I look forward to working with Representative Emmer and Annette Meeks to create the kind of administration that will get Minnesota’s economy growing and put more Minnesotans to work,” said Vekich. “Beginning the transition process is the responsible thing to do.”
Recently, Vekich served as Chair of Minnesota’s 21st Century Tax Reform Commission. The group was asked to evaluate Minnesota’s tax system and recommend reforms that will promote economic growth and job creation in Minnesota. From 1996 to 2002, Vekich served as Chair for the Board of Trustees of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) and was reappointed to the board in 2010. In 2004, Governor Tim Pawlenty asked Vekich to take over as Interim Director of the troubled Minnesota State Lottery, where he restored the public’s trust in the agency. His public service record parallels a successful business career. Vekich is CEO of Vekich Associates, a management advisory firm specializing in strategically refocusing organizations, creating capital for companies, and mergers and acquisitions.