ST. PAUL  (AP) -- Gov. Mark Dayton has chosen former Minnesota National Guard leader Larry Shellito to fill a Veterans Affairs cabinet position.

Dayton's office announced the appointment on Wednesday.

Shellito was adjutant general of the Guard for seven years before his voluntary departure from the position last year.

The 65-year-old former Guard leader was the only person Dayton interviewed to head the agency that oversees state veterans benefits and veterans homes, The Associated Press learned through an open records request.

Dayton says he worked with Shellito during his time as a U.S. senator and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Shellito's return to state government comes about three months after he stepped aside.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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