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 first elected governor in 2002 and reelected in 2006. Besides bringing Minnesota from historic budget crisis to financial security, Pawlenty pursued the successful passage of a dramatic overhaul and improvement of the state’s education standards; an $800 million increase in K-12 education spending along with a nation-leading teacher performance pay program; significant health care, welfare, and tort liability reforms; a range of new government efficiency initiatives; the creation of a nation-leading prescription drug website; and a doubling of the state’s ethanol standard to increase use of renewable fuels and reduce dependence on foreign oil. Pawlenty served as Chair of the National Governors Association in 2007-08.