Minnesota Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, announced that he is retiring from a 39-year career in politics after a legislative session where he led the House push for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium. He was asked to talk about the key players in the campaign.
Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton: "From my standpoint he was great to work with. I really appreciated his leadership. Having the governor demonstrate leadership in a situation like this is essential. This was the kind of deal that required bipartisan cooperation."
Republican Sen. Julie Rosen, Senate sponsor of the bill: "I couldn't have asked for a better partner on this. She spent more time in committee hearings and debate on the floor than we did in the House. She withstood a barrage of criticism from colleagues on both sides of the aisle."
Republican Rep. John Kreisel: "He was very helpful to the stadium issue. His name should be in the mix of key players because of his leadership to charitable gaming reform."
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Minneapolis City Council President Barb Johnson, both Democrats: "They represented one of the key partners in this whole deal. They were both very strong leaders, securing support from a majority of the city council. They took a lot of heat from Minneapolis residents who were opposed to this and they stood strong."
Vikings vice president Lester Bagley: "He has been patient, even though frustrated. He was able to serve as an intermediary with the owners. What I appreciated is that he took our advice seriously, which was: Don't ask the Legislature to make your decision on where you want to put this. Go out and find a local partner. You can't do this unless you have a local unit of government that is going to be a partner."
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell: "Some people have viewed his last visit as a turning point and I said that's an overstatement. His last visit underscored the importance of this whole issue to the NFL and how much they wanted to make it happen. We knew that all along. It probably underscored to the public, too, that, hey folks, this is a real issue."
Vikings stadium could be Lanning's legacy
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