|Governor of Minnesota|
|January 3, 2011 - Present|
|Years in position||3|
|Predecessor||Tim Pawlenty (R)|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 2, 2010|
|First elected||November 2, 2010|
|Next general||November 4, 2014|
|United States Senator|
|January 3, 2001-January 3, 2007|
|Bachelor's||Yale University (1969)|
|Birthday||January 26, 1947|
|Place of birth||Minneapolis, Minnesota|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Political career
- 3 On The Issues Vote Match
- 4 Elections
- 5 Campaign donors
- 6 Personal
- 7 Recent news
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
One of the chief issues from Dayton's first term has been taxes. He argued for tax increases during his 2010 gubernatorial campaign and continued advocating for them during legislative debates over the state budget. In the summer of 2011, Dayton's demand for tax increases on the state's highest earners clashed with Republicans' refusal to consider any hikes, resulting in the memorable shutdown of the Minnesota government. On May 23, 2013, Dayton signed a tax bill raising the tax rate for upper-income residents.
Before becoming governor, Dayton served in the United States Senate for a single term between, during which he was cited for erratic behavior and lack of legislative productivity by his then-colleagues. Dayton declined to run for re-election and his old seat was taken over by fellow Democrat Amy Klobuchar in January 2007.
Early in his career, Dayton was a social worker in Boston, Massachusetts. He made his first bid for U.S. Senate in 1982. Though lost the 1982 election, he remained in public life working as Walter Mondale's legislative assistant and in 1990 he was elected Minnesota State Auditor.
Dayton is a member of the executive committee of the National Governors Association. He, along with eight other governors, will determine the association's priorities and actions for the year. He was named to this leadership role in August, 2013.
Dayton is eligible for re-election and is running for a second term as governor in 2014. The general election takes place November 4, 2014..
A Minnesota native, Mark Dayton was born to Gwendolen May Brandt and Bruce Bliss Dayton. On his father's side, he is descended from George Dayton, founder of Dayton's Department Stores. The fortune he inherited has helped Dayton in his political ambitions; he spent $12 million of his personal wealth on his 2000 Senate campaign and just under $4 million on his gubernatorial campaign.
Growing up in Long Lake, Dayton studied at the Blake School in Hopkins. He went to college at Yale, where he played Division I Hockey. While at Yale, he joined Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, where future president George W. Bush was a brother. After graduating, he spent two years teaching in New York City's public high schools. In 1971, he moved to Boston and spent time in social work.
- Bachelor's of Arts - Yale University cum laude (1969)
Governor of Minnesota (2011-present)
Job creation ranking
In a June 2013 analysis by The Business Journals looking at 45 of the country's 50 governors by their job creation record, Dayton was ranked number 15. The five governors omitted from the analysis all assumed office in 2013. The ranking was based on a comparison of the annual private sector growth rate in all 50 states using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Dayton signed a bill increasing taxes by $2.1 billion on May 23, 2013. This legislation included a $1.60 per pack increase on cigarette taxes and a higher tax rate for upper-income residents. Individuals earning at least $150,000 per year and couples earning $250,000 per year will pay a 9.85 percent rate on earned income. Dayton supported tax increases to fill a $627 million deficit, boost funding for early education programs and pay for a portion of a new football stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. The governor argued for tax increases during his gubernatorial campaign in 2010 and continued advocating for increases during legislative debates over the state budget. "My feeling is, everybody ought to pay their fair share of taxes. If you make more, you pay more; if you make less, you pay less," stated Dayton during a March 2013 speech in Duluth.
On February 17, 2013, Senator Scott Dibble announced on a talk show that he would introduce a bill in the Minnesota State Senate to legalize same-sex marriage. Representative Karen Clark introduce the bill in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Early on Dayton stated his support for same-sex marriage. Dayton and other same-sex marriage supporters defeated the proposed Minnesota Same-Sex Marriage Amendment in the November 6, 2012 election.
At 12:01 a.m. on August 1, 2013, Minnesota officially became the 12th state to recognize same-sex marriage. In recognition, Gov. Dayton issued a proclamation declaring August 1 "Freedom to Marry Day" in the state.
Dayton played a leading role in the summer 2011 shutdown of the Minnesota government after he and the Republican-controlled legislature failed to agree on a plan to close the $5 billion deficit in the state's biennial budget. Dayton had demanded tax increases on the state's highest earners, while Republicans refused to consider any hikes and insisted on spending cuts. The state government's non-essential services subsequently shut down on July 1, furloughing 23,000 state employees.
Dayton defended his hardline stance against spending cuts, saying "most of the money the state collects doesn’t go to a bureaucracy. It goes to the people of Minnesota, who need services — education, health care and the like." He has suggested that an all-cuts solution to the state's budget problem would fall excessively hard on the state's most vulnerable citizens.
United States Senate (2001-2007)
Minnesota Auditor (1991-1995)
On The Issues Vote Match
- See also: On The Issues Vote Match
On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Dayton is a Liberal Populist. Dayton received a score of 44 percent on social issues and 19 percent on economic issues.
The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.
|On The Issues Vote Quiz|
|Economic Issues||Social Issues|
|Legally require hiring women & minorities||Strongly Favors||Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right||Opposes|
|Expand ObamaCare||Favors||Comfortable with same-sex marriage||Favors|
|Vouchers for school choice||Strongly Opposes||Keep God in the public sphere||Opposes|
|Absolute right to gun ownership||Opposes||Human needs over animal rights||Strongly Opposes|
|Higher taxes on the wealthy||Opposes||Stricter punishment reduces crime||Opposes|
|Support & expand free trade||Strongly Favors||Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens||Strongly Opposes|
|Stricter limits on political campaign funds||Favors||Maintain US sovereignty from UN||Unknown|
|Prioritize green energy||Favors||Expand the military||Opposes|
|Stimulus better than market-led recovery||Favors||Stay out of Iran||Strongly Favors|
|Privatize Social Security||Strongly Opposes||Never legalize marijuana||Strongly Opposes|
|Note: Information last updated: 2014.|
- See also: Minnesota gubernatorial election, 2014
The gubernatorial race features five tickets seeking election to a four-year term. Democratic incumbent Mark Dayton is running with Tina Smith, who is running to replace Yvonne Prettner Solon. Dayton and Smith face Republican challengers Jeff Johnson and Bill Kuisle. The general election ballot includes Libertarian ticket Chris Holbrook and Chris Dock, Grassroots Party ticket Chris Wright and David Daniels and Independence Party ticket Hannah Nicollet and Tim Gieseke.The general election takes place November 4, 2014.
|Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota, Democratic Primary, 2014|
|Mark Dayton/Tina Smith||93%||177,737|
|Leslie Davis/Gregory K. Soderberg||4.5%||8,529|
|Bill Dahn/James Vigliotti||2.6%||4,896|
|Election Results Via:Minnesota Secretary of State. Vote totals above are unofficial and reflect 100% precincts reporting.|
General election polls
|Minnesota Governor's Race 2014 - Dayton vs. Johnson|
|Poll||Mark Dayton||Jeff Johnson||Undecided/Other||Margin of Error||Sample Size|
(August 13-14, 2014)
|Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org|
Hypothetical match-up polls
|Hypothetical match-ups for Governor of Minnesota|
|Julie Rosen||Scott Honour||Kurt Zellers||Marty Seifert||Dave Thompson||Jeff Johnson|
|Percent of the vote||36%||38%||38%||37%||37%||37%|
|Mark Dayton's percent of the vote||48%||48%||48%||48%||48%||48%|
|Between October 27-29, 2013, Public Policy Polling surveyed 895 Minnesota voters. The respondents were given a series of hypothetical match-ups between Democratic incumbent Mark Dayton and six potential Republican candidates, and asked for which of the two candidates they would vote in the 2014 gubernatorial election. The margin of error for this survey is +/-3.3%|
Dayton narrowly defeated Margaret Anderson Kelliher in the August 10 primary by a margin of 41.0% to 40.1%.
On November 2, 2010, Mark Dayton/Yvonne Prettner Solon won election to the office of Governor/Lt. Governor of Minnesota. They defeated Tom Emmer/Annette Meeks (R), Tom Horner/James A. Mulder (I), Chris Wright/Edwin H. Engelmann (Grassroots), Farheen Hakeem/Dan Dittmann (Green), Ken Pentel/Erin Wallace (Ecology Democracy) and Linda S. Eno/Howard B. Hanson (Resource) in the general election.
|Governor/Lt. Governor of Minnesota, 2010|
|Democratic||Mark Dayton/Yvonne Prettner Solon||43.6%||919,232|
|Republican||Tom Emmer/Annette Meeks||43.2%||910,462|
|Independence||Tom Horner/James A. Mulder||11.9%||251,487|
|Grassroots Party||Chris Wright/Edwin H. Engelmann||0.4%||7,516|
|Green||Farheen Hakeem/Dan Dittmann||0.3%||6,188|
|Ecology Democracy Party||Ken Pentel/Erin Wallace||0.3%||6,180|
|The Resource Party||Linda S. Eno/Howard B. Hanson||0.2%||4,092|
|Election Results Via: Minnesota Secretary of State|
Comprehensive donor information for Dayton is available dating back to 1998. Based on available campaign finance records, Dayton raised a total of $7,977,903 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 12, 2013.
|Mark Dayton's Campaign Contribution History|
|2012||Governor of Minnesota*||$440,328|
|2010||Governor of Minnesota*||$5,377,917|
|1998||Governor of Minnesota**||$2,159,658|
|Grand Total Raised||$7,977,903|
|*These funds represent a joint-ticket race with Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon. **These funds represent a joint-ticket race with Julie Jansen.|
Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Mark Dayton's donors each year. Click [show] for more information.
|Mark Dayton's Campaign Contributions|
Governor of Minnesota
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$3,521,762 (Republican)|
$10,260 (Ecology Democratic
|Top 5 contributors||Mark Dayton||$3,920,000|
|Prettner Solon Volunteer Committee 15539||$15,000|
|Lockridge Grindal Nauen & Holstein||$3,000|
|Minnesota Pipe Trades Association||$2,500|
|16 individual donors||$2,500 each|
Dayton and his former wife, Alida Rockefeller Messinger, have two grown sons, Andrew and Eric.
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- Social media:
- Executive actions:
- Financial (state level):
- Interest group ratings:
- Issue positions:
- Public statements:
- Works by or about:
- Media appearances:
- Media coverage:
- News and commentary at the Minnesota Post
- U.S. Senate
- Project Vote Smart biographical profile of Mark Dayton
- CNBC, "States Beat Budget Deadlines, While Minnesota Shuts Down," July 1, 2011
- Time, "Mark Dayton: The Blunderer," April 14, 2006
- National Governors Association, NGA Announces New Executive Committee Leadership, August 4, 2013
- The Associated Press, "Amid turbulent session, Gov. Mark Dayton looks to re-election," March 31, 2013
- Office of the Minnesota Governor, " Governor Dayton," accessed August 7, 2013
- The Business Journals, "Governors and jobs: How governors rank for job creation in their states," June 27, 2013
- The Business Journals, "How state governors rank on their job-growth record," June 27, 2013
- Minneapolis StarTribune, "Dayton signs $2.1 billion tax bill into law," May 23, 2013
- Wall Street Journal, "States' Rift on Taxes Widens," May 23, 2013
- MPR News, "Dayton keeps up 'fair share' tax talk in Duluth," March 22, 2013
- CBS Minnesota, "Sen. Dibble Plans To Introduce Gay Marriage Bill This Week," February 18, 2013
- Lake Minnetonka Patch, "Governor Dayton Declares Aug. 1 'Freedom to Marry Day' in Minnesota," August 1, 2013
- CNBC, "States Beat Budget Deadlines, While Minnesota Shuts Down," July 1, 2011
- Washington Post, "Quotes from Minn. Gov. Mark Dayton on his state’s shutdown and his standoff with Republicans," July 2, 2011
- On The Issues, "Mark Dayton Vote Match," accessed June 18, 2014
- The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers.
- Public Policy Polling, "Franken and Dayton ahead of opponents heading into 2014 re-elections," October 31, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Mark Dayton and Yvonne Prettner Solon," accessed July 12, 2013
- Follow the Money.org
Tim Pawlenty (R)
|Governor of Minnesota
2011 - present
| Succeeded by|
State of Minnesota
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