Dayton ends hospital stay in time for Thanksgiving

Gov. Mark Dayton spoke briefly after arriving back in St. Paul. He spent a month recovering from surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Brian Bakst | MPR News

Fresh out of the hospital, Gov. Mark Dayton was in a celebratory mood Wednesday as he arrived to the official state residence already decorated for the holidays.

Dayton arrived in St. Paul on a chilly afternoon and walked into the Governor's Mansion on his own power. He was discharged earlier from a stay of more than a month at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

"Back in time for Thanksgiving," Dayton said in brief remarks to reporters. "Got my family coming tomorrow. Wish you all a happy Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving, Minnesota. Coming back, in a couple of hours all those lights will be on. I'm excited about seeing them. My dogs are coming back tonight. I'm excited about seeing them. And most of all my two grandsons tomorrow morning."

The 71-year-old underwent spine surgery but had to stay in the hospital longer than planned after suffering lung problems.

"I feel good and I'm so excited to be coming home. So Happy Thanksgiving everyone," the DFL governor said before turning to go inside. "I'll have more to say later. Take care."

Dayton conducted work by email, phone and occasionally face to face with staff members while in Rochester.

His final term runs through early January when fellow Democrat Tim Walz takes his oath.

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