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Chairwoman of DMC to run for lieutenant governor

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is turning to a trusted adviser — and a key player in Mayo Clinic's planned expansion — to be his running mate as he seeks a second term.

Dayton has chosen Tina Flint Smith, his chief aide since he took office in 2011, to replace Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon. Prettner Solon didn't want to serve a second term.

Smith is chairwoman of the Destination Medical Center Corp. board. She wasone of four board members appointed by Dayton. In August, the eight-member board unanimously elected her chairwoman.

The DMCC Board is charged with overseeing how $585 million in taxpayer money is spent on public infrastructure to help support Mayo Clinic's planned $6 billion expansion.

It's unclear if being lieutenant governor would affect Smith's position on the DMC board. DMC officials were not available for comment at deadline this morning.


Both Dayton and Smith call Minneapolis home, so the pick goes against the tradition of having a geographically balanced ticket.

Before serving Dayton, Smith was chief of staff for then-Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.

Smith is deeply rooted in Minnesota politics, counting Walter Mondale among her past bosses. She also served as a top official for the regional Planned Parenthood operation.

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