Three candidates to replace Steve Sviggum as UMN regent

Above are the applications for the three people expected to be nominated tomorrow evening at the Minnesota joint House-Senate hearing to recommend a replacement for former regent Steve Sviggum.

Sviggum stepped down as regent March 8 over concerns that his post presented a conflict of interest with his staff job with the GOP Senate Caucus.

They are:

Thomas Devine (Chanhassen);

Kelly Smith (Belle Plaine); and

Robert Vogel (Elko New Market).

All are from the Second District.

As House Higher Education Committee Chairman Bud Nornes told me last month in a radio interview, they’re actually “finalists” from the the crop of candidates for last year’s open regents positions. (They were selected by the Regent Candidate Advisory Council for final interviews.)

Nornes told me at the time that they’d go to last year’s batch, because legislators didn’t think they had enough time for a full-scale candidate search.

State officials contacted them to see whether they were still interested in the slot.