Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Mark Dayton (born January 26, 1947) is a Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party US Senator from Minnesota who took office in 2001. He was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dayton graduated cum laude Yale University, 1969. He worked as a teacher in New York City. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the United States Senate in 1982. Dayton had served as a legislative assistant to Senator Walter Mondale. He was Minnesota state auditor, 1991–1995 and elected to the United States Senate in 2000. He defeated Republican Party of Minnesota incumbent Rod Grams.
Dayton, an heir to the Dayton's Department Store fortune, financed his 2000 Senate campaign with $12 million of his own money, but stated he would not do the same for future campaigns.
In October 2004, Dayton closed his Washington office until the November elections, citing reports of a possible terrorist attack. Every other senator chose to keep their office open, and Dayton received national scrutiny, as well as some criticism, for his move. Already considered a vulnerable incumbent, by the next year his approval ratings had declined by double digits. On February 9, 2005 he announced that he would not run for reelection, stating, "Everything I've worked for, and everything I believe in, depends upon this Senate seat remaining in the Democratic caucus in 2007. I do not believe that I am the best candidate to lead the DFL Party to victory next year."
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