ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Philanthropist Alida Messinger, the ex-wife of Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, is putting big money into overturning Republican control of the Minnesota Legislature.

Fundraising reports released Wednesday showed that Messinger gave $500,000 to the WIN Minnesota political fund. That group funneled money to the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a Democratic-supporting independent expenditure group expected to sink significant amounts into key legislative races.

Dayton is asking voters to give Democrats control of the Legislature for the second half of his term.

Messinger’s donations dwarfed all others to independent groups so far this year. Three Republican-oriented funds combined had $380,000 on hand.

In 2010, Messinger was a major donor to funds that ran ads attacking Republican Tom Emmer in the governor’s race, which Dayton won by less than 1 percentage point.

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