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For our next governor, Minnesota needs a strong leader who has the integrity, conviction and forward-looking vision that will move our state ahead (“Tim Walz: Consensus Builder,” editorial board enforsement, Aug. 5).

That is why I am proud to support Erin Murphy to be our next governor. Erin best combines those qualities with hands-on state government experience and proven leadership ability.

I have known Erin for over two decades and have worked closely with her during the past eight years. She has shown herself to be an exceptional and effective leader in the Minnesota House, fueled by compassion for her fellow Minnesotans and the drive to tackle our state’s most pressing problems. She has earned the respect of her legislative colleagues and many more Minnesotans for her willingness to tackle tough issues, take strongly principled positions and combine tenacity with collegiality to achieve real results.

Erin’s leadership skills were most apparent when, as the House majority leader, she led the most productive sessions of my two terms as governor. Working closely together, we eliminated the state’s chronic budget deficits, paid back the almost $2 billion owed our schools and invested in Minnesota’s future. Erin’s leadership helped move our state forward by raising the minimum wage, passing the Women’s Economic Security Act, enacting marriage equality and funding all-day kindergarten.

Erin has proven herself to be a strong and effective leader, but it’s also her values and vision that inspire my confidence in the kind of governor she will be.

Erin believes that all Minnesotans should be able to access and afford good quality health care. As a nurse and legislative leader on health issues, she will put Minnesota on the path to single-payer health care. She will work to make MinnesotaCare’s lower-cost health coverage available to all Minnesotans, and she will fight to lower the cost of prescription drugs by standing up to the big drug companies, whose excessive profits drive up the costs of everyone’s health care.

Erin believes that Minnesota’s future depends on giving all of our schoolchildren the best possible education. She has been a tireless supporter of expanding high-quality learning opportunities to young children by passing state-funded all-day kindergarten and expanding early childhood education programs. She wants to restore funding for schools’ support staff, such as nurses, counselors and librarians; and she has innovative ideas to expand career and technical education to better connect high school students with the jobs of the future.

Erin believes that Minnesota must work well for everyone throughout our state. Her plan to connect all of Minnesota to high-speed broadband would open new opportunities for students, small-business owners and everyone else in Greater Minnesota. She wants to bring the State Capitol to the people, by opening up regional offices across the state. And her support for paid family leave and earned sick and safe time for working Minnesotans is vital to the economic security of working parents struggling to provide for their families.

When I campaigned for governor eight years ago, I promised “A Better Minnesota.” By many measures, we have made important progress, but there is still more work to be done. In November’s general election, Minnesotans will be faced with a clear choice: Do we want to move forward or go backward?

For everyone who wants to move ahead, Erin Murphy will provide the best possible leadership to establish and achieve new goals, to overcome unforeseeable obstacles and to bring all of us together rather than tear us apart. After all of the campaign promises, the success of a governor depends upon the person. I urge all of us to ask ourselves: Whom can we most trust to hold true their principles, values and convictions? Who has the vision for the best Minnesota we can be? And who has the most clearly proven record of leadership and achievement in state government?

By those standards, I strongly believe that Erin Murphy will be the best governor to lead the nationally recognized “Best State in the Nation” to even greater future successes. Please join me in voting for Erin Murphy for governor in the Aug. 14 primary.

Mark Dayton is governor of Minnesota.