Kelliher looks back, ahead

House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher has kept a pretty low profile since her second-place finish to Mark Dayton in the DFL primary last month.

But Kelliher was back at the State Capitol this week for a meeting of the Legislative Commission on Planning and Fiscal Policy, and she stopped by the MPR News bureau to talk briefly about the primary, the general election and her political future.

“I’m doing well,” Kelliher said. “You get to catch up on all the things that you don’t get to do for about a year and a half or two years of time.”

Kelliher was the DFL endorsed candidate for governor. Dayton did not seek the party endorsement, and he beat Kelliher in the primary by 6,971 votes. Kelliher said she hasn’t spent much time second-guessing her campaign.

“It’s always a time and resources question in a campaign,” Kelliher said. “So having a little bit more time — it was clear that we were surging — and it was also clear that just having a little bit extra money would have made a difference. But I did raise more money than any other DFL endorsed candidate for governor ever has.”

Kelliher said primary night was a rollercoaster, as she watched her strong, early lead gradually disappear. News organizations called the contest for Dayton late that night, but Kelliher waited until the next day to concede. She said she does not regret that decision.

After six terms, Kelliher will step away from Minnesota House at the end of the year. She said she’ll then be looking for a new challenge. Kelliher also said politics remains a future option.

“I would not rule out another statewide run,” Kelliher said. “But I think that that’s probably a ways away.”

Here’s the full interview:

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