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Published May 20, 2011, 02:17 PM

Dayton Won't Criticize Pawlenty's Presidential Run

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is passing on the chance to criticize Republican predecessor Tim Pawlenty, who is expected to announce a run for president in Iowa on Monday.

By: Associated Press,

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is passing on the chance to criticize Republican predecessor Tim Pawlenty, who is expected to announce a run for president in Iowa on Monday.

Asked about Pawlenty Friday, Dayton said only that anyone who wants to run for president has "a perfect right to do so."

Dayton is the state's first Democratic governor in 20 years.

He has blamed the state's budget problems in part on Pawlenty, saying earlier this year that he inherited a "horrendous fiscal mess" from his predecessor.

Minnesota's budget is running $5 billion short over the next two years.

Dayton and the state's first entirely GOP-controlled Legislature in 38 years are deadlocked over taxes and spending. The stalemate threatens to push the legislative session into overtime and toward a possible government shutdown.

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