Democrat Matt Entenza picks Robyne Robinson as running mate in the governor's race

Entenza, Robinson
DFL-candidate Matt Entenza (left) Thursday named former Fox 9 anchor Robyne Robinson as his running mate for the 2010 governor's race.
MPR Photo/Tom Scheck

Democrat Matt Entenza announced Thursday that he's selected a former TV news anchor as his running mate. Entenza picked Robyne Robinson, who appeared on her final broadcast on Fox 9 last night.

Entenza said Robinson is not a political insider, something that could help his chances of winning the DFL primary.

Entenza made his announcement before a handful of supporters on the State Capitol steps. Standing in front of a fire truck, Entenza said Robinson has been a trusted voice in Minnesota's living rooms.

"She became a person beloved across the state of Minnesota. Someone recognized not only as an award-winning journalist, but someone who has been actively involved in our community," Entenza said. "Someone who has not only won Emmy awards, but someone who has served on the boards of important organizations helping Minnesotans."

Robinson is on the board of the Lupus Foundation and served on the Governor's Task Force on Juvenile Violence.

By choosing Robinson, Entenza is not only taking a risk of selecting a running mate who has never been elected to political office, but also someone who is better known than he is.

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Robinson has been a TV news anchor in Minnesota for 20 years. She announced earlier this month that she was leaving the station to focus on her jewelry business.

Even though Robinson told reporters earlier in the week that Entenza asked her to be his running mate, she said she didn't make her final decision until she went off the airwaves for the last time. Entenza's campaign announced hours before that broadcast that Entenza would announce a pick on Thursday morning.

During the news conference, Robinson said she has several qualities that she could bring to the job.

"I have 20 years experience covering the Legislature and issues that are important to the community," said Robinson. "I am an entrepreneur and business person. I'm a community activist and I'm a human being, and I care about human beings in the state. All of that qualifies me."

Robinson later clarified to say she didn't cover the Legislature, but introduced news stories and read copy about legislative issues. Entenza said her focus will be on teen pregnancy, arts and culture, and education.

"I think the experiment of having a lieutenant governor as commissioner has clearly not worked. But there are a lot of ways to lead on education without being the commissioner of education, and Robyne will be leading in a variety of those initiatives and we'll be rolling those out over the coming weeks," said Entenza.

Entenza is running in the DFL primary against Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton.