Gov.-elect Dayton to make spurt of cabinet picksby Tim Pugmire, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Gov.-elect Mark Dayton says he's poised to name a finance commissioner Thursday, as his administration begins to take shape.
The state's projected $6.2 billion budget deficit is expected to dominate the 2011 legislative session.
Dayton takes office on Monday, but so far, he's filled only four of about two dozen cabinet positions.
Earlier today he announced his pick of Susan Haigh to chair the Metropolitan Council. Dayton says his choice for commissioner of the Minnesota Management and Budget Department is among several announcements on the way this week.
"We've had just an overwhelming response from really extraordinarily well qualified people who want the opportunity to serve," he said. "And that's what's slowed down the process in a good way because there's just so many well qualified people to consider."
Dayton says uncertainty over the close election, which triggered an automatic recount, also slowed down the appointment process.
He indicated that he was likely to temporarily retain a top official from Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty's administration at the Revenue Department.
Deputy commissioner Dan Salomone, who previously led the department, has been asked to stay on until a replacement is found.
Dayton takes office Monday.
(This report contains information from the Associated Press.)