Current Position: Governor since 2019
Former Position(s): US Representative from 2007 – 2019
Congratulations, Minnesota! Reaching President Biden’s goal of 70% of adults with at least one vaccine dose before July 4 is a remarkable achievement. Thank you to every Minnesotan who has rolled up their sleeves.
Interview: Gov. Tim Walz On Public Safety, Education Spending And More
Source: Government page
Minnesota Reformer, – October 15, 2021 (Short)
Gov. Tim Walz on Friday readied the Minnesota National Guard to help with staff shortages in long-term care settings and to assist with COVID-19 testing sites.
Walz, the first-term DFL governor, toured the intensive care unit at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale before speaking to reporters about alleviating staff shortages caused by the ongoing pandemic.
Hospital ICUs are nearly full, in part because they are struggling to transfer patients to long-term care facilities, which can’t find workers. Walz is also expanding access to an emergency staffing pool available to long-term care facilities that need workers.
“When COVID surges, it displaces space,” Walz said. “This has had a domino effect going down to step-down care and long-term care facilities…. there’s no ability to step down now because there is no capacity at those facilities.”
On Friday, the state health department reported 28 new COVID-19 deaths, bringing the state’s total death toll from the disease to 8,407. The spread of the Delta variant is straining some rural hospitals, where Minnesotans tend to be less vaccinated.
Minnesota Public Radio, – September 24, 2021 (Short)
DFL Gov. Tim Walz is proposing a $10 million relief package for farmers harmed by this year’s drought conditions.
Half of the money would go toward grants of up to $5,000 to livestock producers and specialty crop growers. The other half would boost the Rural Finance Authority’s Disaster Recovery Loan Program.
Walz announced the proposal Friday at a farm near Hastings. He said the assistance could help some farmers stay on their land.
“It’s not just for Minnesota. We are a major reason that the country has that abundance of food supply, and the world has it,” Walz said.
MPR News with Angela Davis, – August 27, 2021
It has been a challenging year and a half for Gov. Tim Walz.
Along with his usual duties of negotiating a two-year state budget with a Legislature divided along party lines — he used emergency powers to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and deployed the National Guard and other law enforcement resources in the face of unrest that followed the police killings of George Floyd and Daunte Wright.
Not to mention the drought that has hit the state this summer and a tough reelection challenge the DFL governor is likely to face next year.
Walz joined host Mike Mulcahy for the first half of Friday’s program. On the second half: drought and fires. What’s the current situation on the Greenwood Fire and other state wildfires, and how might things change this weekend? MPR News reporters Dan Gunderson and Dan Kraker give an update on the state of Minnesota’s landscape.
Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.
Source: Government page
Born in a small town in rural Nebraska, Tim’s parents instilled in him the values that guide his commitment to common good and selfless service. Soon after his high school graduation, Tim enlisted in the Army National Guard. Tim attended Chadron State College, where he graduated with a social science degree in 1989. Harvard University offered Tim an opportunity to gain a new perspective on global education by teaching in the People’s Republic of China from 1989-90, where he joined of one of the first government-approved groups of American teachers to work in Chinese high schools. Upon his return from China to Nebraska, Tim served full time in the Army National Guard, and accepted a teaching and coaching position. More importantly, he met his wife, Gwen Whipple, who was teaching at the same school.
Tim and Gwen Walz moved to Mankato in 1996, where they began working at Mankato West High School. In addition to teaching social studies, Tim helped coach the Mankato West football team that won the school’s first state championship. After 24 years in the Army National Guard, Command Sergeant Major Walz retired from the 1-125th Field Artillery Battalion in 2005.
After years of living in Mankato, Tim and Gwen moved to St. Paul with their two children, Hope and Gus, and their rescue pets, Scout and Afton.
Office of Governor Tim Walz
130 State Capitol
75 Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155
Timothy James Walz (//; born April 6, 1964) is an American politician, retired educator, and former military officer serving as the 41st governor of Minnesota since 2019. He is a member of the Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL). Formerly an independent, Walz is often described as a centrist.
Walz was the U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 1st congressional district from 2007 to 2019. The district comprises the state’s southern end, running along the entire border with Iowa; it includes Rochester, Austin, Winona and Mankato. He was first elected in 2006, defeating six-term Republican incumbent Gil Gutknecht. He was reelected five times and served on the Agriculture Committee, Armed Services Committee and Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Walz also served on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
In March 2017 Walz announced that he would not run for reelection to Congress and instead run for Governor of Minnesota. On November 6, 2018, Walz was elected governor, defeating the Republican nominee, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson.
Early life, education and military career
Walz was born in West Point, Nebraska, the son of Darlene R. and James F. “Jim” Walz. The son of a public school administrator and community activist, Walz was raised in Chadron, Nebraska, a rural community in the northwestern portion of the state.
Walz graduated from Butte High School in a class of 25 students.
Walz earned a bachelor of science degree in social science education from Chadron State College. His first teaching experience was at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. He then accepted a teaching position with WorldTeach in the People’s Republic of China.
Walz enlisted in the Army National Guard in 1981 and served for 24 years. Over his military career, he had postings in Arkansas, Texas, the Arctic Circle, New Ulm, Minnesota, and elsewhere. He worked in heavy artillery. During his career, he worked in disaster response postings following floods and tornados and was deployed overseas on active duty for months, although he never saw combat. In 1989, he earned the title of Nebraska Citizen-Soldier of the Year. Walz attained the rank of command sergeant major near the end of his career, but retired as a master sergeant in 2005 for benefit purposes because he did not complete coursework at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy. He resumed teaching as a geography teacher and football coach at Mankato West High School, Mankato, Minnesota.
Walz and his wife, Gwen, ran Educational Travel Adventures, accompanying high school juniors and seniors on summer educational trips to China.
U.S. House of Representatives
Walz decided to run for Congress in 2006. He had no opponent for the DFL nomination in the September 12, 2006 primary election. He beat incumbent Republican Gil Gutknecht in the general election on November 7, and took office on January 3, 2007. After the election, Gutknecht was described as having been caught “off guard” and Walz as having “resolved never to get caught like that himself…. He packaged himself as a moderate from Day One, built an office centered on constituent service and carved out a niche as a tireless advocate for veterans.”
Walz was reelected in 2008 with 62% of the vote, becoming only the second non-Republican to win a second full term in the district. He won a third term in 2010, defeating State Representative Randy Demmer with 50% of the vote. He was reelected in 2012, 2014, and 2016.
During his 2018 campaign for governor, two senior NCOs of the Minnesota National Guard falsely accused Walz of fabricating facts about his service and lying about his military rank. The allegation about his military rank was debunked.
Upon his swearing in, Walz became the highest-ranking retired enlisted soldier ever to serve in Congress, as well as only the fourth Democrat/DFLer to represent his district. The others were Thomas Wilson (1887–89), William Harries (1891–93), and Tim Penny (1983–95). During his time in Congress, Walz was a swing vote who voted for bills proposed by both Republicans and Democrats. His centrism and moderate stances alienated some of his party’s more liberal members.
Walz served on the House Agriculture Committee, Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and the Armed Services Committee. Along with fellow Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison, Walz opposed President Bush’s plan to increase troop levels in Iraq. In his first week as a legislator, Walz cosponsored a bill to raise the minimum wage, voted for stem cell research, voted to allow Medicare to negotiate pharmaceutical prices, and voiced support for pay-as-you-go budget rules, requiring that new spending or tax changes not add to the federal deficit.
Even as he represented a district that had usually voted Republican, pundits described Walz’s stated policy positions as ranging from moderate to liberal. He voted against the act to Prohibit Federally Funded Abortion Services, and to advance the Affordable Care Act out of the House. He also voted to continue funding for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and against the 2008 TARP bill, which purchased troubled assets from financial institutions.
Walz received a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood in 2012, from the ACLU in 2011, from the American Immigration Lawyers Association in 2009–10, from the AFL-CIO in 2010, from the Teamsters in 2009–10, and from NOW in 2007. He also received single-digit ratings from the National Taxpayers’ Union, Citizens against Government Waste, Americans for Tax Reform, and Freedom Works. The US Chamber of Commerce gave him a 25% rating in 2010. Walz was ranked the 7th most bipartisan member of the House during the 114th Congress (and the most bipartisan member from Minnesota) in the Bipartisan Index created by The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy that ranks members of Congress by measuring how often their bills attract co-sponsors from the opposite party and how often they co-sponsor bills by members of the opposite party.
Having served 24 years in the Army National Guard, as a freshman in Congress he was given a rare third committee membership when he was assigned to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Walz has championed enhanced veterans benefits since taking office in 2007. In May of that year the House unanimously passed his “Traumatic Brain Injuries Center Act” to set up five centers around the nation to study traumatic brain injuries and develop improved models for caring for veterans suffering from such injuries.
Walz also supported the GI Bill of 2008, which expanded education benefits for veterans and in some cases allowed them to transfer education benefits to family members. In 2009, Walz gave the keynote address at the American Legion National Convention in Louisville, KY. He spoke about the need for the VA and Department of Defense to work together to make sure that returning service men and women “do not fall through the cracks when they transition to civilian life”.
Walz was the lead House sponsor of the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, which directs the Veterans Administration to report on veteran mental health care and suicide prevention programs. It also gives the VA permission to provide incentives to psychiatrists who agree to join the VA medical system.
2008 financial crisis
During 2008, Walz repeatedly spoke out against using taxpayer money to bail out financial institutions; in late September he voted against the $700 billion TARP bill, which purchased troubled assets from these institutions. Walz released a statement after the bill’s passage, saying, “The bill we voted on today passes the buck when it comes to recouping the losses taxpayers might suffer. I also regret that this bill does not do enough to help average homeowners, or provide sufficient oversight of Wall Street.” For the same reasons, in December 2008 he voted against the bill that offered $14 billion in government loans to bail out the country’s large automobile manufacturers. In June 2009 Walz introduced a bipartisan resolution calling on the federal government to “relinquish its temporary ownership interests in the General Motors Corporation and Chrysler Group, LLC, as soon as possible” and stated that the government must not be involved in those companies’ management decisions.
Despite his votes against bailout bills that loaned taxpayer money to large banks and auto manufacturers, Walz did vote with his Democratic colleagues to support the 2009 American Recovery & Reinvestment Act. As a member of the House Transportation Committee, Walz saw the stimulus bill as an opportunity to work “with his congressional colleagues to make job creation through investment in public infrastructure like roads, bridges and clean energy the cornerstone of the economic recovery plan”. Walz has focused heavily on job and economic issues important to his southern Minnesota district, which has a mix of larger employers like the Mayo Clinic along with small businesses and agricultural interests. In July 2009 he voted for the , which he described as “part of our long-term economic blueprint to spur job creation by encouraging America’s entrepreneurs to innovate toward breakthrough technological advancements”.
Walz also urged assistance for hog and dairy farmers who struggled with lower prices for their commodities in 2008 and 2009.
Walz was a public school teacher for 20 years. He opposes using merit pay for teachers. Voting in favor of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Walz pointed to its strong provisions in support of public school buildings. Walz is on record supporting legislation to lower tuition costs. In a February 12, 2009 speech, he said that the most important thing to do “to ensure a solid base for [America’s] economic future … is to provide the best education possible for [American] children.” He has received strong backing for these policies from many interest groups, including the National Education Association, the American Association of University Women and the National Association of Elementary School Principals.
Walz supports abortion rights and has a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood. The National Right to Life Committee gave him a rating of zero. In early 2009, Walz voted for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Walz supports LGBT rights, including federal anti-discrimination laws on the basis of sexual orientation. In a 2009 speech he called for an end to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Walz voted in favor of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act and the Sexual Orientation Employment Nondiscrimination Act. In 2007, he received a 90% grade from the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT organization. In 2011, Walz announced his support for the Respect for Marriage Act.
- Committee on Agriculture
- Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (Ranking Member)
- Chair, Congressional EMS Caucus
- Co-Chair, National Guard and Reserve Component Caucus
- Co-Chair, Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus
- Co-Chair, Congressional Veterans Jobs Caucus
- Member, LGBT Equality Caucus
- Congressional Arts Caucus
Governor of Minnesota
Walz was sworn in as governor of Minnesota on January 7, 2019, at the Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul. Walz took the oath of office alongside incoming Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, Minnesota State Auditor Julie Blaha, and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, all Democrats. Walz spoke about education and healthcare reform in his inauguration speech, and pledged to be a moderate and a “governor for all Minnesotans, regardless of party.”
On May 26, 2020, the day after the murder of George Floyd, Walz and lieutenant governor Peggy Flanagan demanded justice and called the video of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd‘s neck “disturbing”. Walz elaborated, “The lack of humanity in this disturbing video is sickening. We will get answers and seek justice”.
Walz responded to Floyd’s murder by ordering the Minnesota state legislature to reconvene for a special sessions on legislation for police reform and accountability. After police reform failed to pass the first special session in June, a second special session was held in July. On July 21, the Minnesota state legislature passed major police reform legislation. The new compromise law includes a limited ban on police from using chokehold restraint so long as the officers were not at greater risk. It bans the old warrior training program, which was regarded as dehumanizing people and encouraging aggressive conduct. It requires training peace officers to deal with people with autism or in a mental health crisis and deescalation training for situations that could turn volatile. And it creates a special independent unit at the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for investigations of fatal police encounters and a community relations advisory council to consult with the Police Officers Standards and Training Board on policy changes. Walz signed the legislation into law on July 23.
Walz’s brother Craig was killed by a falling tree during a storm in 2016. He was survived by his wife Julie, and their son Jacob, who suffered severe injuries but survived.
|Democratic (DFL)||Tim Walz||141,622||53||–|
|Republican||Gil Gutknecht (Incumbent)||126,487||47||-13|
|Democratic (DFL)||Tim Walz (Incumbent)||207,748||62.5||+9.5|
|Republican||Brian J. Davis||109,446||32.9||–|
|Democratic (DFL)||Tim Walz (Incumbent)||122,390||49.4||-13.1|
|Democratic (DFL)||Tim Walz (Incumbent)||193,211||57.5||+8.1|
|Democratic (DFL)||Tim Walz (Incumbent)||122,851||54.2||-3.3|
|Democratic (DFL)||Tim Walz (Incumbent)||169,076||50.4||-3.8|
|Democratic (DFL)||Tim Walz||242,832||41.60%|
|Democratic (DFL)||Erin Murphy||186,969||32.03%|
|Democratic (DFL)||Lori Swanson||143,517||24.59%|
|Democratic (DFL)||Tim Holden||6,398||1.10%|
|Democratic (DFL)||Olé Savior||4,019||0.69%|
|Democratic (DFL)||Tim Walz/Peggy Flanagan||1,393,096||53.84%||+3.77%|
|Republican||Jeff Johnson/Donna Bergstrom||1,097,705||42.43%||-2.08%|
|Grassroots||Chris Wright/Judith Schwartzbacker||68,667||2.65%||+1.07%|
|Libertarian||Josh Welter/Mary O’Connor||26,735||1.03%||+0.11%|
|Democratic (DFL) hold|
- United States congressional delegations from Minnesota
- List of United States representatives from Minnesota
- “Once a Soldier… Always a Soldier” (PDF). Legislative Agenda. Association of the United States Army. 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 21, 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
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- “Project Vote Smart — Representative Walz on HR 3962 – Health Care and Insurance Law Amendments”. Votesmart.org. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
- “Project Vote Smart — Representative Walz on HR 2642 – Funding for Military Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan”. Votesmart.org. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
- “Project Vote Smart — Representative Walz on HR 1424 – Financial Asset Purchase Authority and Tax Law Amendments”. Votesmart.org. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
- The Lugar Center – McCourt School Bipartisan Index (PDF), The Lugar Center, March 7, 2016, retrieved April 30, 2017
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- “Project Vote Smart — Representative Walz on HR 2642 – GI Bill, Funding for Midwest Flood Cleanup, Extension of Unemployment Benefits, and Other Provisions”. Votesmart.org. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
- “Project Vote Smart — Representative Timothy J. ‘Tim’ Walz — Congressman Walz Gives Keynote Address At American Legion National Convention”. Votesmart.org. August 26, 2009. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
- 114th Congress (2015) (January 7, 2015). “H.R. 203 (114th)”. Legislation. GovTrack.us. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
Clay Hunt SAV Act
- “Project Vote Smart — Representative Walz on HR 3997 – Financial Asset Purchase Authority”. Votesmart.org. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
- “Project Vote Smart — Representative Timothy J. ‘Tim’ Walz — Walz Votes Against Bailout Plan”. Votesmart.org. September 29, 2008. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
- “Project Vote Smart — Representative Walz on HR 7321 – Automotive Industry Financing”. Votesmart.org. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
- “Project Vote Smart — Representative Timothy J. ‘Tim’ Walz — Walz Introduces Resolution Calling for Exit Strategy of the Federal Government’s Ownership of Car Companies”. Votesmart.org. June 26, 2009. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
- “Project Vote Smart — Representative Timothy J. ‘Tim’ Walz — Walz Votes to Create Millions of Jobs Through House Economic Recovery Plan”. Votesmart.org. January 28, 2009. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
- “Project Vote Smart — Representative Timothy J. ‘Tim’ Walz — Rep. Tim Walz Votes to Create Small Business Jobs, Spur Economic Growth”. Votesmart.org. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
- http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/roll486.xml[bare URL]
- “Project Vote Smart — Representative Timothy J. ‘Tim’ Walz — Walz Urges Swift Action to Assist Dairy Producers”. Votesmart.org. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
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- “Project Vote Smart — Representative Walz on HR 3221 – Student Aid Program Modifications”. Votesmart.org. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
- “Project Vote Smart — Representative Walz on HR 1 – Appropriations, Tax Law Amendments, and Unemployment Benefit Amendments (“Stimulus Bill”)”. Votesmart.org. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
- “Project Vote Smart — Representative Timothy J. ‘Tim’ Walz — Rep Walz Announces New Program to Make College More Affordable”. Votesmart.org. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
- “Project Vote Smart — Representative Timothy J. ‘Tim’ Walz — School Funding”. Votesmart.org. February 12, 2009. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
- “Project Vote Smart — Representative Timothy J. ‘Tim’ Walz — Interest Group Ratings”. Votesmart.org. May 14, 2010. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
- “Final Vote Results for Roll Call 37: On passage of Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009”. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
- Ameigh, Sarah. “North Carolina’s Anti-LGBT Measure: A Reactionary’s Response to Progress”. American Humanist. Archived from the original on September 30, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
- “Rep. Walz Wants Recreational Marijuana Legalized in Minnesota”. September 7, 2017. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
- “EMS Caucus”. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
- “Membership”. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
- “Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus 114th Congress”. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
- “Congressional Veterans Jobs Caucus Members”. Archived from the original on June 11, 2016. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
- “Members”. LGBT Equality Caucus. Archived from the original on April 2, 2017. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
- “Membership”. Congressional Arts Caucus. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- Frost, Evan. “Photos: The Walz Administration takes oath of office”. www.mprnews.org. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
- “Tim Walz sworn in as Minnesota’s next governor”. Star Tribune. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
- Murphy, Esme (May 26, 2020). “‘I Can’t Breathe!’: Video Of Fatal Arrest Shows Minneapolis Officer Kneeling On George Floyd’s Neck For Several Minutes”. WCCO-TV. Archived from the original on May 26, 2020. Retrieved August 24, 2020.
While lying facedown on the road, Floyd repeatedly groans and says he can’t breathe.
- “Walz calls special session on police accountability, bonding”. MPR News. June 10, 2020. Retrieved August 24, 2020.
- “SPECIAL SESSION ENDS WITH NO POLICE REFORM BILLS”. KNSI. Associated Press. June 21, 2020. Retrieved August 24, 2020.
- Nelson, Tim (July 20, 2020). “Special session enters second week with little accomplished”. MPR News. Retrieved August 24, 2020.
- Bakst, Brian (July 21, 2020). “Legislature passes policing bill, ends special session”. MPR. Retrieved August 24, 2020.
- Van Oot, Torey (July 23, 2020). “Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signs police accountability bill sparked by George Floyd’s death”. Star Tribune. Retrieved August 24, 2020.
- “Full Biography”. Honorable Tim Walz. December 11, 2012. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
- Sederstrom, Noel. “Walz family gathers at St. Mary’s in Duluth as rescued teen faces multiple surgeries”. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
- Wormald, Benjamin (January 5, 2015). “Faith on the Hill: The Religious Affiliations of the 114th Congress”. Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
- https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/2018-general-election-results/[bare URL]
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
- Appearances on C-SPAN