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Government & Politics

As the home of two former Vice Presidents — Walter Mondale and Hubert H. Humphrey — Minnesotans have always been actively involved in the political arena, leading most states in voter turnout for the past 20 years. In the 2000 presidential election, nearly 70 percent of eligible Minnesota voters cast their ballots, and over 77 percent turned out in 2004. By contrast, only 51 percent of voters turned out nationally in the 2000 election, and 64 percent turned out in the 2004 election.

In the 2006 Congressional elections, Minnesota showed its wide political span by electing conservative Republican Michele Bachmann in the sixth district, liberal Democrat Keith Ellison in the fifth and moderate Democrat Tim Walz in the first. All are currently serving their first terms and up for reelection in 2008. Longtime Congressman Jim Ramstad is not seeking reelection, meaning there is an open race in the third district.

First term U.S. Senator Norm Coleman is up for reelection in 2008 and will face tough opposition in the coming election.

At the state level, Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty is currently in his second term, with the DFL in the majority at both the Senate and the House. Heading into the 2008 elections, the House consists of 85 DFLers and 49 Republicans. The Senate has 45 DFLers and 22 Republicans.

Political Parties

Minnesota’s major political parties are the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor (DFL) Party and the Republican (R) Party of Minnesota. In the mid 1940s, the state Democratic Party merged with the populist Farmer Labor Party to form the DFL party. In 1994, the two-year-old Reform Party (formerly known as the Independent Party) also qualified as a major political party.

Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party (DFL)

Republican Party of Minnesota (R)

Green Party of Minnesota

Reform Party of Minnesota

How to Vote

Voting in Minnesota

Voting in Minnesota is a relatively simple process. People who have lived in the state for at least 20 days are eligible to vote in an election. County courthouses, public libraries and other designated locations throughout the area serve as voter registration sites up to 20 days prior to an election. Voter registration can also be done on election day at the polling place with a valid Minnesota driver’s license or registration receipt, a Minnesota identification card that includes a current address, a current utility bill or if accompanied by a registered voter in the precinct who will vouch for the newly registered voter’s residency in writing.

For information about registration and polling locations, contact city or county elections offices. In Saint Paul and Ramsey County, call Ramsey County Elections at 651.266.2171. For more information, call the League of Women Voters of Minnesota at 651.224.5445.

Congressional Representatives
Local and Washington, D.C. addresses for Saint Paul/East Metro area congressional representatives are listed below:

U.S. Senator Norm Coleman (R)
2550 University Avenue West
Suite 100 North
Saint Paul, MN 55114

United States Senate
320 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (DFL)
1200 Washington Avenue South, Suite 250
Minneapolis, MN 55415

United States Senate
302 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Email Form:

4th District - U.S. Representative Betty McCollum (DFL)
165 Western Avenue North, Suite 17
Saint Paul, MN 55102

United States House of Representatives
1714 Longworth House Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20515
Email Form:

6th District - U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (R)
6043 Hudson Road, Suite 330
Woodbury, MN 55125

6th District - U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (R)
110 2nd Street South, Suite 232
Waite Park, MN 56387

United States House of Representatives
412 Cannon HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515

State Government

Minnesota has a traditional state government model, with a governor, state senate, and state House of Representatives. In the 2006 election, Republicans maintained control of the Governor’s office, while Democrats retained control of the State Senate and gained control of the State House.

Governor - Tim Pawlenty (R)
Office of the Governor
130 State Capitol
Saint Paul, MN 55155

Senate and House Members

You can easily communicate with your public officials in the Grassroots Action Center at or contact your senator or representative in writing by using the appropriate office number on the next page.

County Government

In the Saint Paul/East Metro area, the counties of Ramsey, Dakota and Washington are governed by Boards of Commissioners.

Ramsey County Board of Commissioners
220 Court House
15 West Kellogg Boulevard
Saint Paul, MN 55102

Board of County Commissioners:
District 1 – Tony Bennett
District 2 – Jan Parker, Chair
District 3 – Janice Rettman
District 4 – Toni Carter
District 5 – Rafael Ortega
District 6 – Jim McDonough
District 7 – Victoria Reinhardt
Dakota County Board of Commissioners

Dakota County Administration Building
1590 Highway 55
Hastings, MN 55033-2343

Board of County Commissioners:
District 1 – Joseph Harris
District 2 – Kathleen Gaylord
District 3 – Thomas Egan
District 4 – Nancy Schouweiler, Chair
District 5 – Michael Turn
District 6 – Paul Krause
District 7 – Willis BranningWashington County Board of Commissioners

Washington County Government Center
14949 - 62nd Street North, P.O. Box 6
Stillwater, MN 55082-0006

Board of County Commissioners:
District 1 – Dennis C. Hegberg, Chair
District 2 – Bill Pulkrabek
District 3 – Gary Kriesel
District 4 – Myra Peterson, Vice Chair
District 5 – Dick Stafford

City Government

The mayor of Saint Paul and city council members serve four-year terms. Most individual communities have a mayor and city council; some rely on a city manager or administrator. All seven city council seats were up for election in 2007 and the mayor’s election will occur in 2009.

Saint Paul- Mayor Chris Coleman
390 Saint Paul City Hall
15 West Kellogg Boulevard
Saint Paul, MN 55102

City Council
Ward 1 – Melvin Carter III
Ward 2 – Dave Thune
Ward 3 – Pat Harris
Ward 4 – Russ Stark
Ward 5 – Lee Helgen
Ward 6 – Dan Bostrom
Ward 7 – Kathy Lantry (Council President)

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