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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

A new Minnesota Public Radio-St. Paul Pioneer Political analysts say the race could hinge on which candidate sways the most undecided voters. (09/21/2006)
Cathy Wurzer spoke with Larry Jacobs, Director of the Humphrey Institute's Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, and the survey's chief author. (09/21/2006)
The major party candidates for governor squared off on Thursday for the first time since their primary victories earlier this week. Pawlenty and Hatch took shots at each other, largely ignoring the Independence Party's Peter Hutchinson. (09/14/2006)
Republican incumbent Tim Pawlenty, DFLer Mike Hatch and the Independence Party's Peter Hutchinson will face off in the November election, and the barbs have already started. (09/13/2006)
The proposal failed to pass the Legislature, and Pawlenty's political rivals say that's because it's a gimmick. (09/05/2006)
With a little more than two months before the November election, Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty has a significant fundraising lead over his opponents. Pawlenty's campaign says the governor has $2 million in the bank, twice as much as his nearest rival, DFLer Mike Hatch. (08/29/2006)
State officials say Minnesota's economy added nearly 12,000 jobs last month. Over the past year, the state has added jobs at more than double the national rate. At the same time, Minnesota's unemployment rate inched up last month, because more people are now looking for work. (08/15/2006)
Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty is asking Minnesota voters to give him a second term. Pawlenty makes his case as part of Midday's "Meet the Candidates" series. (Midday, 08/14/2006)
The issue of health care is heating up in the governor's race. Two candidates have already outlined health care proposals, and another two will weigh in on the issue this week. Political observers say the issue affects many Minnesotans' pocketbooks, but it's unclear whether it will ultimately affect their votes in November. (08/09/2006)
In the first in a series of "major policy addresses" from the major-party gubernatorial candidates at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute, incumbent Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty speaks about changes he'd like to see in the state's education system. (Midday, 07/26/2006)
Gov. Pawlenty has outlined a plan to provide free in-state college tuition to Minnesota's top high school students. Pawlenty says an estimated 16,000 students could benefit in the first year. DFL critics say the Republican governor has had an election-year conversion on higher education issues. (06/27/2006)
The five-year low is a cause for celebration for Gov. Tim Pawlenty who touted it Tuesday as another sign of an economy on the right track. (06/13/2006)
Fresh from his party's convention, where he was officially endorsed on Friday, Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty takes questions about his re-election bid from Minnesota Public Radio listeners. (Midday, 06/05/2006)
Delegates to the state Republican convention have overwhelmingly endorsed Gov. Tim Pawlenty in his bid for a second term. Pawlenty told delegates that he's been fighting a deeply liberal tradition for the past four years, and said the state needs leaders, not whiners. (06/02/2006)
Delegates to the state Republican convention are expected to handily endorse Gov. Tim Pawlenty for a second term Friday afternoon Pawlenty has led the state during a contentious and highly-polarized era at the Capitol, which included the state's first partial government shutdown. (06/02/2006)