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Governor: Tim Pawlenty

Gov. Tim Pawlenty won his office in 2002 in a three-way race, accumulating 45 percent of the vote cast. His election highlighted a Republican shift in Minnesota. Although faced with massive budget deficits from the start, Pawlenty's job approval ratings have been consistently high. The hallmark of his administration has been his decision to sign -- and stick by -- the Minnesota Taxpayers League no-new-taxes pledge.

Pawlenty's name has been mentioned quite often in musings about Minnesota politicians who may have a future in national politics. While insisting he has no designs on higher office, his visit to the Club for Growth in New York City during the 2004 Republican National Convention, raised eyebrows since the club is considered a kingmaker for politicians with an interest in a bigger stage. And club members were smitten with Pawlenty's stance on taxes and the economy.

If he does have intentions beyond the governor's office, the election of 2006 is critical if he is to maintain a position from which he can launch other campaigns. He won the September 2006 primary, easily beating Sue Jeffers 89-to-11 percent.

Candidate Bio

Tim Pawlenty
Political affiliation:
Republican Party
November 27, 1960. South St. Paul, Minn.
Married to Mary, two children (Anna, Mara). Resides in Eagan. Protestant.
Governor. Attorney.
South St. Paul High School. BA Political science from University of Minnesota. Law degree from University of Minnesota.
Major political experience:
Eagan City Council member. He served 10 years in the Minnesota House of Representatives, including four as House Majority Leader.

On the Issues

Audio Abortion (3/13/06)
Audio Cigarette fee (3/13/06)
Audio Dedicating sales tax to natural resources (3/13/06)
Audio Dedicating motor vehicle sales tax to transportation (3/13/06)
Audio Early childhood education (3/13/06)
Audio Higher ed (3/13/06)
Audio Health care (3/13/05)
Audio Jobs (10/09/06)
Audio Local government aid (3/13/06)
Audio Marriage bill (3/13/06)
Audio Smoking ban (3/13/05)
Audio Taxes (3/13/06)
Audio Transit (3/13/06)

Campaign Contribution Report

Total receipts
Cash on hand
Source: Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board 2006

Links and Resources

Campaign Web site:
Governor's Web site:

Candidate Pages

If you're not sick of political ads on TV by now you probably will be by Election Day. (10/24/2006)
You won't find anything about social issues such as abortion and same sex marriage on the gubernatorial candidates' Web sites, but they're important to many voters. (10/24/2006)
In a battle of spreadsheets and bar graphs, Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Democratic challenger Mike Hatch traded accusations Sunday over crime-fighting. (10/22/2006)
Minnesota lost nearly 13,000 jobs in September, the third largest monthly job loss in more than 50 years. (10/17/2006)
Public safety is traditionally an important issue for voters, especially those living in areas touched by drugs or violence. (10/17/2006)
A Star Tribune poll shows DFL challenger Mike Hatch pulling ahead of incumbent Republican Tim Pawlenty in the Minnesota governor's race. (10/16/2006)
Gov. Tim Pawlenty says if Minnesota has a budget surplus, he doesn't want to use the additional money for rebate checks to taxpayers. (10/12/2006)
Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty says the state's job market is "on fire," while his opponents say Minnesota's economic picture is not so hot. (10/10/2006)
In their first and only post-primary debate outside of the Twin Cities, the two frontrunners and Independence Party candidate Peter Hutchinson were forced to address the medical research issue and a railroad expansion that both loom large in the state's third-largest city. (10/05/2006)
Public education is traditionally a top issue for many Minnesota voters, and this year's election is no exception. (10/03/2006)
A new round of gubernatorial campaign ads takes aim at the candidates' tax policies, but some of the numbers fail to add up. (10/02/2006)
Moderators pressed the group to offer specific proposals for future road funding, education reform and the environment. But Mike Hatch and Tim Pawlenty mostly demurred. (09/27/2006)
The candidates have been making a lot of promises about new spending, from free college tuition to more cops on the street. (09/26/2006)
Cathy Wurzer spoke with reporter John Vomhoff, Jr. with the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, who monitored corporate campaign contributions in the state's gubernatorial race from January through August this year. (09/22/2006)
Three independent polls this week say the race for governor in Minnesota is essentially a dead heat between Republican incumbent Tim Pawlenty and DFLer Mike Hatch. The top candidates' campaign managers talk about their strategy in the coming weeks. (09/22/2006)