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News & Features
Campaign 2004

Candidate Profiles

News Headlines
Paul Thissen

Rep. Paul Thissen
Party: DFL
Residence: Minneapolis, MN
Web site:

Statement from the candidate:
I am proud to represent the residents of Richfield and Minneapolis in the Minnesota House of Representatives. I have worked hard to be an effective legislator, turning good ideas into law. I have spoken out against the majority in the House when I thought they were undermining the quality of life and prosperity of the state. But I have also worked to build a reputation as someone who is fairminded and who can work effectively across the aisle. I believe my success in passing several of my legislative initiatives in my first term is a testament to that reputation.

This election - just as in 2002 -- is about the future of the state. In recent years, Minnesota has focused too much on finding short-cuts to avoid immediate problems and spent too little time addressing the long-term challenges facing the state. We must meet the projected billion-dollar deficit for the next two-year budget cycle in a more responsible way. One-time shifts and gimmicks will no longer work. Intead, we must focus on the long-term investments that traditionally have been a recipe for success in Minnesota: good jobs, good schools, efficient transportation, quality health care and a clean environment. I have worked -- and I am committed to keep working -- toward those goals.

Rep. Paul Thissen was first elected the House of Representatives in 2002. He and his wife, Karen, live with their three children in south Minneapolis. When the legislature is not in session, Paul works as a lawyer.

Paul attended elementary and high school in Richfield. Paul graduated from Harvard University and earned his law degree at the University of Chicago Law School.

Paul and Karen have been active in the community. Paul has served as an officer of his negihborhood association and on the Boards of several non-profit and community groups. He founded the group Access for Persons with Disabilities.

On the Issues:
Should increased taxes be considered as part of a solution to a projected budget deficit?

Should gambling be expanded in Minnesota to generate new revenue for the state?

Should state funds — directly or indirectly — be used to build new sports facilities for the Twins and Vikings?

Do you support Gov Pawlenty's JOBZ zones program?

Should K-12 spending in Minnesota be curtailed in order to balance a projected budget deficit?

Should a constitutional amendment be presented to voters that would ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota?

Should the state spend money for expanding mass transit options in Minnesota?

Should there be additional restrictions on abortion in Minnesota?

Should the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, which seeks to protect wildlife habitat and wetlands by paying farmers for taking marginal lands out of agriculture production, be supported?

Should the state's subsidized health care program be trimmed in order to reduce a projected budget deficit?