Kelliher picks up gubernatorial endorsements

St. Paul City Council President Kathy Lantry endorsed Kelliher on Friday.

Cali Owings

St. Paul City Council President Kathy Lantry announced Friday that she would be endorsing DFLer Margaret Anderson Kelliher for governor. Lantry joins Minneapolis City Council President Barb Johnson and former Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayles-Belton in supporting KelliherâÄôs campaign. One of her biggest opponents is current Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. For Lantry, the decision was not quick or easy. She said she evaluated all of the DFL candidates before coming to the conclusion that Kelliher has the leadership skills to meet the position. Lantry said she would support whoever won the DFL party nomination, but she will work to ensure Kelliher gets the nomination at the party convention next weekend. While KelliherâÄôs legislative record was discussed, her supporters also drew attention to the campaignâÄôs potential to make state history as the first woman governor. âÄúAs someone whoâÄôs lived through the era of womenâÄôs rights,âÄù Johnson said, âÄúwe need to break through that glass ceiling.âÄù Kelliher also used the opportunity to speak about her plans to work with local government if elected. She criticized current Gov. Tim PawlentyâÄôs cuts to local government aid and argued that his actions prompted cities to increase property taxes. âÄúPawlenty has used local government as his piggy bank for the last number of years to balance the stateâÄôs budget,âÄù Kelliher said. As governor, Kelliher said she would work to rebuild partnerships with local governments. LantryâÄôs endorsement came one day after St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman announced his support of RybakâÄôs campaign. âÄúThis is a time for new perspectives; itâÄôs a time for different techniques,âÄù Coleman said during a Thursday press conference. âÄúR.T. brings a fresh perspective to the office of governor if he is elected.âÄù Coleman, who considered a gubernatorial run last year, said his relationship with Rybak is a âÄúhistoric partnershipâÄù for the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Rybak said he and Coleman have dealt with many of the challenges facing greater Minnesota, including the need for enhanced public safety, road improvement and creating green jobs.