- Associated Press - Saturday, October 11, 2014

NORTHFIELD, Minn. (AP) - If voters grant Gov. Mark Dayton four more years, he said he’ll stick around for all of them.

Dayton, 67, told The Associated Press in an interview this month that he’s heard the rumors he’d leave office before the end of a second term and catapult running mate Tina Smith into the top job. Not true, he said.

“I want to serve four more years as governor of Minnesota. I certainly have no plans to turn that responsibility over to Tina or anyone else. Four years won’t be enough to accomplish everything I would like to accomplish. No way,” Dayton said. “Absent something catastrophic and unforeseeable, I intend to serve out my four years as governor if I’m re-elected. I never considered anything else.”

Smith joined Dayton’s ticket early this year after having served as his chief of staff. Current Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon decided against another term.

Dayton has had health troubles since taking office in 2011, undergoing three procedures at the Mayo Clinic to alleviate hip and back problems that have hindered his mobility. He sometimes uses a cane for stability.

Dayton said his health has improved since his last surgery in February and he’s free from regular pain.

“Last time I looked there are no brain cells residing in the hip and so I haven’t noticed anything in terms of lack of capacity or acuity,” he said.

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