Pawlenty Named Finance CEO, Resigns as Romney Campaign Chair

Tim Pawlenty is scheduled to begin his new role with The Financial Services Roundtable Nov. 1.

South St. Paul son and Eagan resident Tim Pawlenty is no longer considering a bid for U.S. Senate or Minnesota governor in 2014. 

The reason, according to an Associated Press article released this morning: Pawlenty has been named CEO of Wall Street lobbying group The Financial Services Roundtable

“Tim’s leadership, vision and ability to find common ground make him the right choice to represent the broad membership of The Financial Services Roundtable,” said Tom Wilson, CEO of Allstate and chairman of The Financial Services Roundtable, in a prepared statement on the FSR website.

Wilson continued: “As governor of Minnesota, Tim was a highly successful chief executive who created an environment for economic growth and job creation with a common sense and balanced approach to problem solving ... (Pawlenty) 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.”

Pawlenty was quoted in the same statement saying he is "excited about the new challenge" because of the impact of financial services on the lives of Americans and the economy as a whole.

Pawlenty's appointment to FSR also means he will resign as national co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

The son of a milk truck driver, Pawlenty worked as a paper boy and a shelf stocker at a local grocery store when he was younger. He attended South St. Paul High School, where he played on the school hockey team. He received his law degree from the University of Minnesota in 1986, and was elected to Eagan's City Council and the Minnesota House of Representatives before serving as Minnesota's governor from 2003-2010.

Pawlenty cast his support behind Romney after dropping out of the presidential race last summer, following a distant third-place showing in an Iowa straw poll. Although he was considered a frontrunner as Romney's possible vice presidential pick, the presidential candidate eventually chose Paul Ryan.

It isn't the first time that a Republican presidential candidate has considered picking Pawlenty as a running mate. In 2008, then-presidential hopeful John McCain passed over Pawlenty and chose former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

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