Former Gov. Mark Dayton marries 32-year-old onetime campaign aide

After “twenty years of bachelorhood” former Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is now a married man, he posted Sunday on Facebook.

Dayton married Ana Orke, who worked on his 2010 gubernatorial campaign and Hilary Clinton’s 2008 presidential primary campaign, the post said.

In his post, which read like a letter addressed to family and friends, Dayton said he was “delighted” to share happy news during these “challenging times.”

“Well-wishers, with whom I share my news, often ask me, ‘Who is the lucky lady?’” he wrote. “But that is the wrong question, for it is I who am the lucky man.”

Dayton described her as “smart, compassionate, tough, funny, and impossibly good at Scrabble!”

He also noted that she is 41 years younger than he is.

“I know our age difference (I am 73; she is 32) will surprise many of you,” he wrote. “The truth is, the feelings that developed between Ana and me, given our age difference, surprised us too, at first. But as we grew to know each other, we realized that the love binding us is far deeper and more meaningful than the years that separate us. You will not be surprised to learn that politics (in addition to winning at board games) is important to us both.”

The pair lost touch after Ana’s work on Dayton’s campaign concluded, but they ran into each other again a couple of years ago in Minneapolis, he wrote, adding that “The rest is happy history.”

Dayton, whose family founded the Dayton’s department store chain, which is now Minneapolis-based Target Corp., was married twice before, the first time to Alida Ferry Rockefeller in 1978 and they divorced in 1986. In 1996, Dayton married Janice R. Haarstick and they divorced in 1999. Dayton has two sons, Eric and Andrew, from his first marriage.

Read More