Mark Dayton is the incumbent Governor of Minnesota who took office on January 3, 2011 as the successor of Tim Pawlenty. Formerly, he was a US Senator from Minnesota (2001 – 2007) and Auditor of Minnesota (1991 – 1995). Mark is also a member of Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labour Party (DFL).

Early Life and Education

Born on January 26, 1947, Mark Dayton is the son of father Bruce Bliss and mother Gwendolen May. Raised in Long Lake with three siblings, Dayton went to The Blake School for early education. Graduating from The Blake School, he joined Yale University. At Yale, Dayton was heavily involved in varsity hockey and Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity.

Personal Life

Mark Dayton has married two times in his life. Firstly, he married Alida Ferry Rockefeller in 1978. The couple remained together for 8 years before divorcing in 1986. The couple had two children: Eric and Andrew. Then, he started dating Janice R. Haarstick and tied the sacred knot with her in 1996. This marriage also broke up in 1999.

With an estimated family net worth of $1.6 billion, Dayton comes on the list of one of the richest Governors of all time. Despite being such a moneyed man, Dayton lives a modest life but is also a recovering alcoholic and a psychological patient.


Mark Dayton has been an active Democratic member since the 1960s. Primarily, he started as a young protester against Vietnam War. Then, he turned towards being a legislative aide to Senator Walter Mondale and Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich. Subsequently, Dayton ascended to the posts of Head of Department of Economic Development and Department of Energy and Economic Development. From 1990 to 1995, Dayton was Minnesota State Auditor. Then, he made a bid for Governor of Minnesota but couldn’t manage to gain the nomination.

In 2000, Dayton made another bid for the US Senate Democratic Primary Election in Minnesota. Learning from the loss against Republican David Durenberger in 1982, Mark Dayton joined US Senate by defeating Rod Grams. In the primaries, Dayton gained nomination by securing 41.29% votes as opposed to Mike Ciresi’s 22.35% votes and Jerry Janezich’s 20.78% votes. As a Senator, he worked on the following committees and never sought for a re-election in 2005.

Committee Assignments

  • Committee on Armed Services
  • Subcommittee on Airland
  • Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support
  • Subcommittee on Strategic Forces
  • Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
  • Subcommittee on Commodities, Markets, Trade and Risk Management
  • Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources
  • Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
  • Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information and International Security
  • Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia
  • Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
  • Committee on Rules and Administration
  • Joint Committee on Printing

In 2010 Gubernatorial election, Mark Dayton bade for the seat of Governorship. Receiving the Democratic nomination, he joined the general election race against the Republican nominee Tom Emmer. Dayton defeated Tom with a slight margin of 9000 votes and assumed the office on January 1, 2011 alongside his running mate Yvonne Prettner Solon. Finishing up the first term, Dayton sought for another term at the office by receiving Democratic Party favor with a unanimous 92.99% votes. In the 2014 general election, Dayton and his running mate Tina Smith defeated Jeff Johnson and Bill Kuisle with 50.07% votes. Jeff Johnson received only about 44.5% votes, while the third placing Hannah Nicollet earned 2.88% votes.

As Governor, Dayton passed executive orders to bring about a change in health care – he allocated a $1.2-billion for Medicaid Opt-In Program and reduced regulations on the eligibility for health care grants. Likewise, Dayton supported people’s will of constructing a new stadium for Minnesota Vikings. Besides, he also managed to increase tax revenue by a significant increment on excise duties, corporate and inheritance taxes. Mark will be finishing his second term in 2018.

Donald Trump and Mark Dayton

Being the representatives of two extremely different political parties, the two leaders definitely differ a lost on their political and economic stands. For instance, while Dayton administration is driven by an increase in taxes, Donald Trump administration is working towards heavily lowering taxes. Despite such differences, the two leaders do not confront each other as much people would expect.

Categories: Biography

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