“The governor’s legacy has been amazing.”

A Mankato Democrat is singing the praises of Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton in his final term in office. Dayton previously announced that he would not run for another term in the fall election, and DFL Representative Jack Considine gives him credit for righting the employment ship in the state. “When he took office, unemployment was sitting right at 7 percent. Now it’s sitting at 3.3 percent, it’s the lowest in 17 years. Minnesota added 286,000 jobs,” Considine said

Dayton’s predecessor, Tim Pawlenty, announced earlier this week that he has created a campaign committee to run for his old job, but Considine said the former governor’s legacy was not so rosy and, “When Governor Pawlenty left, we were $6 billion in the hole. We owed the schools $2 billion and Governor Dayton turned that around and gave us almost a $2 billion rainy day fund.”

In addition to jobs and the economy, Considine said many other programs benefitted from Dayton’s leadership and, “Now we’ve got all day kindergarten, we’re working on early childhood education; his list of accomplishments just keeps going on and on.”

Mankato Democrat Tim Walz won the straw poll in precinct caucuses earlier this year. State Representative Erin Murphy and Minnesota State Auditor Rebecca Otto are also declared candidates still in the race on the DFL side.

For the GOP, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson won the February straw poll. Other declared Republican candidates include former state GOP Chair Keith Downey and Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens.