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DFL Gov. Tim Walz is expected to finish his full first term in office without issuing a single veto, something no other governor in state history can claim.

All previous governors in Minnesota wielded their veto pen at least once — some many times — over the course of their time in office. Governors can't write laws, but they can block ones they don't like by vetoing them.

Vetoes were routine for Walz's DFL predecessor, former Gov. Mark Dayton, who was elected in 2010 alongside a Republican-controlled Legislature. He vetoed 23 bills in his first year in office alone.

Walz hasn't used his veto pen, in part, because the House and Senate have been divided between two parties for his entire first term, meaning the bills that make their way to his desk already have bipartisan buy-in.

But working with a divided House and Senate still meant vetoes for other governors. In 2015 and 2016, Dayton used his veto power 12 times on bills that were sent to him by a DFL-led Senate and GOP-controlled House. All told, Dayton vetoed 108 bills during his eight years as governor, including several while Democrats held complete control of government.

Walz and his commissioners have been at the negotiating table each session to strike deals with the Legislature.

"Minnesotans want to see us working together to find solutions that will improve their lives, whether it's for education, public safety, or middle class tax cuts," Walz said in a statement. "With divided government, that has meant that every bill, budget, or policy change that crossed my desk has had bipartisan support."

The Minnesota Legislative Reference Library keeps tabs on gubernatorial vetoes dating back to Gov. Alexander Ramsey in 1849, although records are incomplete before 1939.

A reference librarian confirmed that the only person who has come close to Walz's zero-veto record is former DFL Gov. Rudy Perpich, who didn't issue any vetoes between 1976 and 1978. He was elevated to the role from lieutenant governor after his boss, former Gov. Wendell Anderson, was appointed to the U.S. Senate. But Perpich only served two years as governor before voters kicked him out of office.

Perpich returned to the governor's office in 1983 and served through 1990, issuing a handful of vetoes over the course of his two terms. Independence Party Gov. Jesse Ventura, whose enthusiastic use of the governor's power to line-item veto individual provisions out of budget bills, landed him a record 115 total vetoes in a single year in 2002.

Depending on what happens in the fall election, Walz's veto luck could run out.

If he's re-elected, Walz could be serving with a GOP-controlled Legislature swept in by national headwinds for Democrats. Vetoes are almost a certainty in that scenario.