Minnesota Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon has decided not to be on the ticket when Gov. Mark Dayton seeks a second term this year. She says she was worried about being relevant in 2010, when Dayton asked her to run. She apparently has not found that relevancy in the past four years.
We can't really blame her for wanting to move on to something else. And we believe her decision raises questions about the value of a lieutenant governor. Shouldn't there be a way to give this person an expanded role in government, or find a way to get rid of the position? Otherwise, paying a lieutenant governor is a waste of money and of someone's time and energy.
We believe the best route would be for a lieutenant governor to serve as the head of a state agency. Let them devote themselves to those duties. If something unfortunate happened to the governor, the lieutenant could step up. In the meantime, they would be relevant and productive.
Some may raise constitutional or ethical concerns about this arrangement, but it seems to us these issues could be worked out.
Government doesn't exactly have a shining reputation. It doesn't need a high-profile case of a high-ranking elected official toiling in obscurity.