A Mankato Democrat is displeased with the election of veterinary microbiologist Randy Simonson of Worthington to an open seat on the University of Minnesota Board of Regents.

Mankato resident and current Rochester Community and Technical College interim President Mary Davenport was one of two finalists chosen by a special panel. The other was Mayo Clinic cardiologist Brooks Edwards.

Representative Jack Considine said Simonson, who was nominated from the floor, was not the best choice for the position. “I thought Mary Davenport was far and away the best candidate. She was the only candidate with higher education experience,” he said, and called it, “A very disappointing outcome.”

Not only that, but Considine said Simonson’s plans for the University of Minnesota take higher education down the wrong path. He explained, “The new regent wants to close one of the University of Minnesota campuses and he’s talked about bringing a business CEO in as president of the university instead of somebody from higher education, and he’s talked about curtailing research.”

In an e-mail to Democratic Representative Cheryl Youakim, Simonson wrote, “I’m opposed to the University conducting research on aborted fetal tissue and would advocate for a policy opposing this.”