Former Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton announced Sunday that he has married Ana Orke, a former campaign staffer and intern who is 41 years younger than him.
“I am delighted to reach out to you in these challenging times with some very happy news: After twenty years of bachelorhood, I am now a married man,” Dayton said in a Facebook post.
The 73-year-old said Orke worked for his 2010 gubernatorial campaign and Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. According to a 2008 article in Northfield News, Orke also worked as an intern for Dayton when she was a senior in high school.
“I know our age difference (I am 73; she is 32) will surprise many of you. 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,” said Dayton, whose previous two marriages ended in divorce.
“As I celebrate the gift of new love and joy in my own life, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a most joyful holiday season,” he added.
Dayton said he and Orke lost touch for several years until they “ran into each other in Minneapolis a couple of years ago.”
It’s unclear exactly where and when the wedding took place. Under a COVID-19 executive order issued by Gov. Tim Walz, venues that “offer gathering space for wedding ceremonies” are “strongly encouraged to offer virtual alternatives to the maximum extent possible.”
Additionally, indoor services are required to limit attendance to 50 percent of a venue’s normal occupant capacity.
In a wedding photo posted by Dayton, both he and his wife are pictured maskless and indoors.