Legislature elects Devine to Board of Regents

The full Legislature met Wednesday and chose Tom Devine over Bob Vogel to take the regent’s seat recently departed by Steve Sviggum.

Kyle Potter

The Minnesota Legislature selected Wednesday Tom Devine to fill the empty Board of Regents seat.

Devine will take over for former Regent Steve Sviggum, who left the board in early March after a lengthy conflict of interest review concluded he could not serve as both a regent and with the Senate Republican Caucus. The Board of Regents meets next May 10 and 11.

Devine is a University of Minnesota alumnus and has been active in the Alumni Association and the University Legislative Network, among other groups according to his résumé. He co-owns the insurance company the David Agency and has a son who is a freshman at the University.

He’ll represent the 2nd Congressional District and will serve out the rest of Sviggum’s term, which ends in 2017.

Devine was one of two candidates the full Legislature considered to fill Sviggum’s seat. The other was Bob Vogel, president and CEO of New Market Bank. The Legislature chose Devine over Vogel by a 110-75 vote.

The House and Senate higher education committees met Tuesday night to recommend a candidate to the full Legislature, but failed to do so after two rounds of voting — a recommendation hinged on netting a majority of votes from both committees, which neither Devine nor Vogel managed.

A third candidate, Belle Plaine public schools superintendent Kelly Smith, was cut from the second round of voting Tuesday after receiving just two votes in the first round.

The committees chose the three finalists from a list of 18 possible regent candidates made by the Regent Candidate Advisory Council in December 2010. Sviggum, Laura Brod, David McMillan and incumbent David Larson were eventually chosen from that list and elected to the board in 2011.

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