Dayton and Pawlenty hold joint press conference

by James Nord

Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Gov.-elect Mark Dayton met privately before hosting a joint press conference Thursday afternoon.

They stood together, though the two have been political opponents in the past on issues like taxes and Minnesota’s economy. Pawlenty pledged to provide any support Dayton might need.

“While we do disagree on matters, we understand that’s the greatness and the strength of our democracy,” Dayton said.

Pawlenty described turning over the governorship to a Democrat the “ceremonial passing of the baton.”

Dayton, who was transitioning in the governor’s role while a state-mandated recount took effect, now has access to a roughly $160,000 state budget for the process.

He also announced current Transportation Commissioner Tim Sorel would hold the same post in the Dayton administration.

Dayton is expected to announce his chief of staff on Friday.