Four men moved forward to fill four open seats on the University of Minnesota's Board of Regents.
A House and Senate joint higher education committee on Tuesday nominated three current regents, as well as a familiar name in Minnesota politics, as candidates. Their names will be passed along for a vote by the Legislature later this month.
In the closest contest Tuesday, current regent Thomas Devine edged out General Mills CEO Ken Powell for the at-large seat.
Former Minnesota House Speaker Steve Sviggum, whose name was added as a candidate for consideration just days ago, was also nominated Tuesday night.
He beat out three candidates who had been through a monthslong process with the Regent Candidate Advisory Council.
Sviggum pointed out that he'd been through the process before.
He was appointed to the board in 2011, but stepped down shortly after because of a conflict of interest — he worked as an instructor and fundraiser at the university's Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
His resignation led to Devine's appointment to the board in 2012.
The candidates gave opening statements and answered questions from the committee on subjects such as what qualities they'd look for if they had to hire a new president and whether the board should have the final say on contracts for sports coaches, which each candidate supported.
Each nominee will be voted on later this month by a joint session of the full House and Senate. At that point, others could also be nominated.
The regents will serve six-year terms.