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Pawlenty: Served us well

Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced Tuesday afternoon he doesn't plan to run again in 2010 for another term as Minnesota's chief executive. While he could be inflexible at times, his tenure has been good for Minnesota.

Pawlenty made a pledge and kept it. On that much his opponents as well as his supporters must agree. He said he wouldn't raise taxes -- most people believe he meant sales and income taxes -- and he stuck to it. It wasn't ever easy to be that principled: Pawlenty has been handed a couple of pretty horrendous state budget shortfalls and did the best he could with a tough situation.

Would many people have preferred small increases in income or sales taxes to stave off the inevitable aid cuts and property tax increases? Sure. But voters knew what they were getting when they re-elected Pawlenty.

He has been a skilled politician, rising to prominence on the national Republican stage. He has never embarrassed the state with any of his actions, and proved he was one of us with his love of hockey and his tenacity at governor's fishing openers and deer hunting openers.

While there are plenty of people who might disagree with Pawlenty's policies, few would argue he's a good man and has served us well.

Whether his next venture is at a higher level of office in Washington, D.C., or just a private-sector job here in Minnesota, we wish the governor well.