St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) -  The race for governor in Minnesota in 2018 is now wide open for both Democrats and Republicans.

Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith, who many assumed was going to campaign to succeed Governor Mark Dayton, on Friday announced that she would not be a candidate. In a Facebook post, the lieutenant governor indicated that after careful consideration, and many conversations with family and friends, she has decided not to run for Governor in 2018.

Smith, who serves as the chair of the Destination Medical Center Corporation Board in Rochester, went on say that she would work as hard as she could to elect a Democrat for governor in two years, and thanked her many friends throughout the state who encouraged her to seek the highest elected position in Minnesota.

She was widely considered the front runner to win the Democratic Party’s endorsement to rule replace Dayton, who previously announced that his current term would be his last.

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