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Tim Pawlenty

Gov. Tim Pawlenty

  • January 6, 2003 - January 3, 2011
  • Republican
  • November 27, 1960
  • Minnesota
  • University of Minnesota
  • Married Mary Elizabeth Anderson; two children


Tim Pawlenty grew up in South St. Paul, Minnesota. The only child in his family to graduate from college, he attended the University of Minnesota and practiced law in the private sector. His public service career included serving as a criminal prosecutor, Eagan City Councilmember, and ten-year member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, including four years as House Majority Leader. Pawlenty was elected governor in 2002 and reelected in 2006. He kept a historic lid on spending and moved Minnesota out of the top ten taxed states for the first time in modern history. He also overhauled and improved the state’s education standards; increased K-12 education spending; implemented a nation-leading teacher performance pay program; achieved significant health care, welfare, and tort liability reforms; implemented new government efficiency initiatives; created innovative prescription drug initiatives; and set groundbreaking standards to increase the use of renewable fuels and energy. He also led the efforts to respond to the tragic I35W bridge collapse which the NTSA determined occurred due to an original design flaw. Pawlenty served as Chair of the National Governors Association in 2007-08.

Recent Minnesota Governors