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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

It was a busy day for gubernatorial politics Wednesday. Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty formally announced his re-election campaign. Democrats launched a campaign against Pawlenty and other Republicans. And DFL gubernatorial candidate Becky Lourey announced her running mate. (05/31/2006)
Midmorning talks with Gov. Tim Pawlenty about the closing of the Ford plant in St. Paul, the progress of the legislative session, and immigration reform. (Midmorning, 04/18/2006)
To hear Gov. Tim Pawlenty and U.S. Sen. John McCain tell it, 2008 is the last thing on their minds. But the Minnesota governor and the Arizona senator sounded a lot like two guys who wouldn't mind sharing a national ticket. (04/12/2006)
Gov. Pawlenty has called for cracking down on illegal immigration, and although his proposals are unlikely to get through the Legislature intact this session, he could get some political traction from the issue. (04/11/2006)
In MPR's ongoing Meet the Candidates series, Gov. Tim Pawlenty makes his case for a second term in office. (Midday, 03/13/2006)
In what sounded like a test of possible themes for a re-election campaign, Pawlenty said he's completed the biggest financial turnaround in state history. (03/09/2006)
The governor's rivals say Pawlenty is clearly running for re-election so he should cancel his weekly radio show. But the governor and the station that airs the program say legally Pawlenty is not a candidate, and his opponents should not expect to get equal airtime. (02/03/2006)
On Thursday, President Bush makes his 18th stop in Minnesota since taking office. Given recent approval ratings, does his appearance cast a negative shadow on GOP candidates here? Or does it fire up the base? (02/01/2006)
DFL candidate Kelly Doran leads the money chase in the Minnesota governor's race, thanks mainly to his own loans. In the Senate race, Mark Kennedy is outpacing DFLer Amy Klobuchar. (01/31/2006)
Rallies took place all over the country on Sunday to mark the 33rd anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade court decision legalizing abortion. (01/23/2006)
One week after saying he wanted to crack down on illegal immigration, Gov. Tim Pawlenty proposed ways to help legal immigrants. The Republican governor's plan includes a new tax credit for immigrants seeking citizenship, and more money for English language instruction and immunizations. (01/12/2006)
Gov. Pawlenty wants the state to add facial recognition technology to Minnesota drivers' licenses to prevent identity theft. His announcement comes a day after Attorney General Mike Hatch raised similar concerns, and signals that identity theft could be a hot topic in the race for governor. (01/05/2006)
Immigration issues have moved to the forefront of political debate in recent weeks, thanks largely to Gov. Tim Pawlenty. It began in December when Pawlenty released what has become a controversial report on the costs associated with illegal immigration. And it continued this week, when the governor outlined a series of proposals to identify and crack down on illegal immigration in Minnesota. (01/04/2006)
Gov. Pawlenty says he's meeting with groups across the state to discuss the impact of illegal immigration in Minnesota, which he calls a serious problem and needs immediate attention. Critics say Pawlenty is using the issue of immigration as a political wedge to help him get reelected next year. (12/16/2005)
President Bush's fundraising visit in support of Senate candidate Mark Kennedy, comes when the president's approval rating in Minnesota has plunged. If that trend continues, it could hurt the chances in 2006. (12/09/2005)