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Tim Walz names Kristin Beckmann to head transition; Chris Schmitter to be chief of staff

November 8, 2018

Gov.-elect Tim Walz walked up the steps of the State Capitol in a made-for-TV moment and opened the door of the transition office for the first time, as he begins assembling a government roughly two months before his swearing-in as Minnesotas 41st governor.

Walz also named longtime aide Chris Schmitter, currently an attorney with the firm Green Espel, to be the chief of staff.

Kristin Beckmann, currently chief operating officer for the nonprofit Center for Economic Inclusion and former aide to St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, was named the executive director of the transition.

Were here to literally open the door and maybe broader than that, to thank the people of Minnesota for the incredible honor and privilege and responsibility to be the governor and the lieutenant governor of the state of Minnesota, said Walz, flanked by Lt. Gov.-elect Peggy Flanagan and his wife Gwen Walz.

Flanagan will head up a One Minnesota Transition Advisory Board, which will seek guidance from Minnesotans across the state on forming the new government.

The transition website can be found at mn.gov/tim-walz/

The Walzs, who have a 17-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son, said they are considering moving into the governors residence in St. Paul but are unsure of the timing.

Walz demurred when asked about potential commissioners, including possible holdovers who currently work for Gov. Mark Dayton, the Democratic governor retiring after two terms.

Walz said he spoke Wednesday to state Sen. Paul Gazelka, the Republican leader of the upper chamber.

J. Patrick Coolican 651-925-5042

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