ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Gov. Mark Dayton regards stinging criticism from legislative Republican over his raises for agency commissioners as being done out of revenge.

Dayton lashed out Wednesday over the GOP's attention to recently announced raises, which were authorized by lawmakers in 2013. He says he hiked pay to make executive positions more financially competitive. Republicans want Dayton to appear at a public hearing, but he has declined. He invited legislators to discuss it in a less-formal setting.

The Democratic governor says he considers the raise issue a distraction from other matters before the Legislature. He accused Republicans of fixating on them as "revenge for my getting re-elected over their candidate by 100,000 votes."

He argues Republicans have also awarded staff raises, and notes many local officials earn more than state-level agency heads.