Former Governor Tim Pawlenty in his bid for a third term has chosen Michelle Fischbach as his lieutenant governor running mate. “She is without question, regardless of which side of the aisle you’re on, a respected, thoughtful, strong, experienced policy leader,” Pawlenty says. Fischbach, a Republican, is currently lieutenant governor in the Democratic Mark Dayton administration, after recently resigning her state Senate seat representing the Paynesville area. She says the Pawlenty-Fischbach ticket is “committed to work to hold government accountable, reduce health care costs, eliminate taxation on Social Security benefits, improve our educational systems and reform the Minnesota tax system.”
The announcement comes one day before Republicans open their state convention in Duluth, but Pawlenty says because he entered the race so late he won’t seek his party’s endorsement and will run in the August primary election. Pawlenty wouldn’t say yet whether he’ll hold any campaign events on this convention weekend, but did say he will *not* be in Duluth.
Governor Mark Dayton says about former Governor Tim Pawlenty announcing his running mate, that he expects to continue to have a good relationship with Republican Lieutenant Governor Michelle Fischbach. Dayton’s comment, “She has a perfect right to run for another office — or for the same one,” elicited chuckles from a State Capitol audience.
Less kind words from Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Tim Walz, who says about Pawlenty’s announcement, “I was a little confused about [it], because I thought he had announced his running mate in Donald Trump long ago when he started this campaign.” Walz says a year after the 35-W bridge collapsed, Republican lawmakers had to help override Pawlenty’s veto of a gas tax increase.