Governor To Vickerman: Ally, Friend

Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, went out of his way to honor retiring Sen. Jim Vickerman, a Democrat, today.

Before he signed a bill moving the state’s primary election a month earlier, to August, he called Vickerman "my ally and friend."

A teary-eyed Vickerman took to the podium and thanked the governor for signing the bill because it will allow military personnel overseas enough time to vote in the November general election. With the law, the Tracy senator said, votes will "not get lost somewhere on the way."

Vickerman is chairman of the Senate committee dealing with veterans’ issues, and is a veteran himself. He announced last month that he will not seek re-election.