Panel fails to recommend new U regentby Alex Friedrich, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — A joint legislative committee on higher education has failed to recommend a candidate to replace former University of Minnesota regent Steve Sviggum.
Neither Thomas Devine of Chanhassen nor Robert Vogel of Elko New Market received a majority vote in both chambers. Devine won the vote of House members by a wide margin, but Vogel had slightly more Senate votes. The regent's slot is located in the 2nd Congressional District.
Before the vote, Republican Sen. Claire Robling of Jordan expressed concern over Devine's residence. She said redistricting will place Devine in another district.
"Think about how you would feel if we were electing your congressional member, and you knew that information now," Robling said. "I'm looking for somebody to continue to be in my Second Congressional District."
But Sen. Sandy Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, said redistricting shouldn't pose a problem.
"Because when you are elected as a regent, you're actually told during orientation that you actually have to leave a lot of your parochial interests behind — and think about the university, and think about the whole state," Pappas said.
The full Legislature is expected to vote for a regent Wednesday.