Lt. Gov. Tina Smith: "I have decided not to run for Governor in - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Lt. Gov. Tina Smith: "I have decided not to run for Governor in 2018"

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Lt. Gov. Tina Smith Lt. Gov. Tina Smith
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC) -

The race for Governor of Minnesota next year just took a major turn--Lt. Gov. Tina Smith posted on her Facebook page about 2:30 p.m. Friday that she has decided not to run in 2018.

Smith said making Minnesota work better for people is what drives her every day, and in her statement, said she never expected to serve in elected office.

"I have never believed as strongly as I do today that Minnesota is the best place in the country to live, with the most creative, decent, hard working and fair-minded people you would ever want to meet" writes Smith. "And I also believe, more strongly than ever, that Minnesota has yet to live up to its full potential; that everyone has a chance for opportunity, independence, and the freedom to live their own dreams in their own way."

The lieutenant governor has been serving as the chair of Rochester's Destination Medical Center Corporation board.  She noted among her proudest accomplishments in office with Gov. Mark Dayton are a record of balanced budgets and fiscal stability, expanding health care to hundreds of thousands of people, and some success in promoting all-day kindergarten and improving early learning for more children.

Smith was Gov. Dayton's Chief of Staff before joining him on the ticket in 2014; she has served in a high-profile role for Dayton in the current term which began in January, 2015.  Dayton has long indicated this is his last term as Governor of Minnesota.

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