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Minneapolis Cops, Once Pawlenty Fans, Endorse Governor Dayton

Dayton, pictured here with John Delmonico directly to his right, has the endorsement of the Minneapolis cop union.

Dayton, pictured here with John Delmonico directly to his right, has the endorsement of the Minneapolis cop union.

The Minneapolis cop union -- officially known as the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis -- has unanimously endorsed the reelection bid of Gov. Mark Dayton.

In a news release, union president John Delmonico says his organization, which is the largest police union in the state, "endorses people, not parties." That comment is borne out by the fact that the federation endorsed Republican Tim Pawlenty in 2002 and 2006.

See also:

MN Police Order Endorses Republican Candidates for Office ... and Mark Dayton

In a follow-up interview, Delmonico says he regularly meets with Dayton, who he characterizes as "a very accessible man, very intelligent guy."

"He listens, he cares, and he gets things done, not only with my police union but for the state of Minnesota," he continues. "Truly, with us, any politician we endorse, it's about having a good relationship, listening to us, hearing our input and hopefully working with us to accomplish things that we both agree on."

In the release, Delmonico cites Dayton's support of Local Government Aid, "which has helped cities across the whole state retain and hire police officers and provide needed equipment for police departments. Governor Dayton and the DFL legislature increased state aid to cities by $130 million after a decade of cuts."

Delmonico tells us the LGA issue was a big reason his union decided to endorse Dayton instead of Republican Tom Emmer back in 2010. He also praised one of the first bills Dayton signed into law, which beefed up penalties for criminals convicted of harming police dogs, as one priority of the union's that Dayton helped make a reality.

The nine elected members of the Minneapolis cop union's board didn't formally interview Dayton or Johnson ahead of their endorsement vote. Delmonico tells us they didn't feel it necessary.

"When it comes time to re-endorse, we have a 'friendly incumbent rule,'" he explains. "If somebody has been our friend and is up again this year, do we really need to meet with them?"

In the release, Dayton says he's "very honored to have the endorsement of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis."

"I have great respect for the work that our officers perform for the people of this state, putting their own lives in danger," he continues. "Whatever I could do to be supportive over the last four years I'm proud to have done, including funding for Local Government Aid to provide more resources to improve police and fire protection, and I will continue to work with our law enforcement and look forward to doing so."

Send your story tips to the author, Aaron Rupar. Follow him on Twitter @atrupar.