Zagreb, Croatia (Learfield Wire Service) - Governor Mark Dayton has just finished day two of his three-day visit to Croatia to celebrate a 20-year partnership with that eastern European nation.

Dayton  says people in Croatia still remember former Governor Rudy Perpich, who was of Croatian descent.

Dayton says, “Several of ’em said they had met with him back in the early 1990s, I guess after he left office…. and a couple of ’em said they have pictures, autographed pictures of him, which sounds just like Rudy.”

Perpich, whom Newsweek magazine dubbed “Governor Goofy,” died in 1995. Dayton says Perpich’s legacy continues, noting Minnesota has a significant Croatian population, particularly on the Iron Range.

The governor says one of the highlights of his trip was joining a Saint Paul group to serve steaks to Minnesota and Croatian troops at the barracks. Dayton quipped, “A lot of the Minnesota Guards, men and women, came over to my side so they could get a steak served by the governor — although one of them claimed that he asked for it medium and I gave it to him rare, and I said, well, I screwed up another assignment, you know.”

Dayton has high praise for “Serving the Troops,” which he says has been traveling all over the world with delicious steak dinners for servicemembers.

Photo from Office of Governor Dayton