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Pawlenty leaves Romney, lands lobbying gig

Associated press In this 2012 file photo former Republican Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty addresses the 2012 Michigan Republican State Convention at Cobo Center in Detroit. An advisor told the Associated Press Thursday that Pawlenty ruled out a run for political offices in 2014 in Minnesota to take a new job as chief executive of The Financial Services Roundtable, a Wall Street lobbying group.

ST. PAUL -- Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty no longer is presidential candidate Mitt Romney's chief surrogate after accepting the top job at a major lobbying group.

The Politico website reported Pawlenty is the new head of The Financial Services Roundtable, a major lobbying organization for financial institutions.

Pawlenty, who dropped his own White House bid more than a year ago, had been the most-seen stand-in for Republican candidate Romney.

"Pawlenty would immediately elevate the roundtable's profile in political circles," Politico reported.

The former governor "is exactly the kind of leader we need to continue to improve our industry's reputation, advocate firm-but-fair regulation and help maintain our global leadership of the financial markets," said Tom Wilson, chief executive officer of The Allstate Corporation and chairman of The Roundtable.

As soon as his job was announced, Pawlenty announced he would leave as co-chairman of the Romney campaign. He said he is looking forward to "working closely with decision makers from both parties on issues related to our nation's banks, insurance companies and investment firms so that they can continue to provide fuel for America's economic engine."

Pawlenty had been on Romney's short list of running mates, but he lost out to House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

"He's brought energy, intelligence and tireless dedication to every enterprise in which he's ever been engaged, and that certainly includes my presidential campaign," Romney said about Pawlenty. "While I regret he cannot continue as co-chair of my campaign, his new position advancing the integrity of our financial system is vital to the future of our country."

Davis works for Forum Communications Co., which owns the Daily Globe.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.