Former Governor Tim Pawlenty in his bid for a third term has chosen Michelle Fischbach as his lieutenant governor running mate.

Republican candidate for Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty.

He said, “She is without question, regardless of which side of the aisle you’re on, a respected, thoughtful, strong, experienced policy leader.”

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 said, “We’re 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.”

Pawlenty running mate and current Lieutenant Governor Michelle Fischbach.

Minnesota DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin said Pawlenty is abandoning any pretense of being a moderate by naming Fischbach saying she, “Represents an element of the Republican Party far out of touch with everyday Minnesotans.”

He explained, “She has led Republican attempts to ban marriage equality, restrict health care choices for women, and even helped her new running mate, Tim Pawlenty, strip our schools of critical funding.”