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This sounds like a great job to me

By Staff | Oct 19, 2014

Back when I was in school, some of my classmates would say they wanted to grow up and be president of the United States.

When the teacher called on me, my smart alecky remark was that I did not want to be the president.

I wanted to be the vice president of the United States, I replied.

To be honest, I was fairly serious. In my eyes, the president did all the work and the vice president didn’t have to do much at all.

That could also be true of being governor versus being lieutenant governor. The governor has all the responsibility and the lieutenant governor does…what, I wonder?

Sounds like a cushy job to me.

For many years one of my favorite trivia questions to ask people was, “Who is the lieutenant governor of Minnesota?”

Nine times out of 10 the person you are asking does not know. Sometimes it was 10 out of 10.

Do you know?

Or do you know who the two major party candidates are for that spot in this coming election?

While a lot of people know that DFL incumbent Mark Dayton is facing off against GOP challenger Jeff Johnson, do you have any idea who their running mates are?

Again, to be totally honest, I am not sure I did either. But here are the answers to those questions.

The current lieutenant governor is Yvonne Prettner Solon, a retired clinical psychologist. She decided not to file for re-election.

So, Mark Dayton selected Tina Smith, his Chief of Staff.

Republican candidate Johnson selected Bill Kruisle, a farmer who lives by Rochester and Stewartville and a former state representative, as his choice for lieutenant governor.

Kruisle stopped in Blue Earth last week for a visit with the editor of the Faribault County Register, yours truly.

He said he is somewhat of a reluctant candidate. Jeff Johnson called him last April about being willing to be on a list of potential choices to be his running mate.

Kruisle said he would have to think about it.

After he thought long and hard, discussed it with his family and friends, he finally agreed to have his name on the list.

Less than 24 hours later Johnson called him and told him he was the one he wanted.

Since then it has been a whirlwind adventure, traveling all around the state.

He says he went to 31 county fairs (including the Faribault County Fair), and blames summer weight gain on the fact that there is terrific, tasty food at the fairs.

He was also at the State Fair.

Now it is pretty much non-stop travel around the state right up until election day.

After visiting with Kruisle for a while, it is fairly obvious he will not be a take it easy, be in the background kind of lieutenant governor, if he is elected.

He admits to definitely not being shy, and wanting to voice his opinions on a variety of topics. That can be good or bad for a politician.

Kruisle says he feels his work as a lieutenant governor is to be a lightning rod, an advisor, an ear piece for the governor, traveling the state finding out what the issues are.

He plans on working hard with the governor and the legislature saying he has connections in the house and the senate, across the aisle, both parties.

He says he is not one to sit back and not speak his mind.

Especially when it comes to agriculture and rural Minnesota. He wants to be an active advocate for ag and small towns.

He laments the fact there is but one or two actual farmers in the state legislature.

If he is elected, I am sure he will be outspoken enough that he will be in the news and I will no longer be able to ask that favorite trivia question of mine who is Minnesota’s lieutenant governor.

But, here is another trivia question for you. What do all these people have in common: David Daniels, Tim Giesele, Chris Dock and Mark Anderson?

The answer is they are all also running to be the next lieutenant governor of Minnesota, on various political parties tickets and will be on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Choose wisely. Your pick might become the answer to my trivia question.