The Latest: Quiet organizer, late to politics



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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Latest on Lt. Gov. Tina Smith (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

The woman who will be Minnesota's next U.S. senator is a largely behind-the-scenes player who came to elected office late in her career and passed up a major shot at power just a few months ago.

Tina Smith isn't passing a second time. Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday named his trusted lieutenant governor and former chief of staff to fill fellow Democrat Al Franken's Senate seat until a special election next November.

Smith didn't take a straight line to politics. The New Mexico native came to Minnesota three decades ago for a marketing job.

She gradually moved into politics and ran a handful of statewide campaigns for Democrats. She didn't hold office until Dayton made her his running mate two years ago.

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8:30 a.m.

The woman being touted as Minnesota's newest U.S. senator is a largely behind-the-scenes player who came to elected office late in her career and passed up a major shot at power just a few months ago.

Tina Smith isn't passing a second time. Two Democratic sources tell The Associated Press that Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday will name his trusted lieutenant governor and former chief of staff to fill Sen. Al Franken's seat until a special election next November.

Smith didn't take a straight line to politics. The New Mexico native came to Minnesota three decades ago for a marketing job.

She gradually moved into politics and ran a handful of statewide campaigns for Democrats. She didn't hold office until Dayton made her his running mate two years ago.

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The Associated Press

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