MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — He’s back, he’s rested and he’s ready.

“Dive back into work,” Gov. Mark Dayton said Monday after speaking to the annual conference of the Association of Labor Relations Agencies at the IDS Center in downtown Minneapolis.

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The greeting to about 150 people at Windows on Minnesota’s Galaxy Room was the governor’s first task since returning from a California vacation, where he spent some time with his son. Andrew Dayton is an aide for San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee.

“First time I left the state in a year and a half for a vacation,” Dayton said. “I feel very much relaxed and rested.”

Not that Dayton wanted to leave Minnesota.  He said he likes his home state and has no complaints, but said it was good to get away for a few days. Dayton also visited friends in Santa Cruz and Big Sur, and enjoyed some time walking on a Pacific Ocean beach.

“Watched the ocean pound on the waves,” Dayton said. “Looked up at the stars, realized there are other perspectives on the universe.”

The time off was welcome for Dayton, who last month worked through a grueling special session that resulted in a contentious budget deal. It’s no wonder the governor did nothing political during his time off.

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What’s that? Nothing political?

“No, not a thing,” he said.

No fundraising?


No meeting with California Gov. Jerry Brown?


Maybe getting away from the political grind was the reason Dayton was smiling on a Monday morning.

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“That’s right, that’s right. Absolutely,” he said with a chuckle. “Good break.”