ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota State Rep. Paul Thissen (D-Minneapolis) has announced his candidacy for Governor of Minnesota.
Thissen, who has served in the Minnesota Legislature since 2002, has been a leader within the Democratic Party, serving as Minority Leader from 2011-2012 and Speaker of the House from 2013-2014, when Democrats controlled the House. Republicans gained control of the House in the 2014 election.
Graduating from Harvard University and the University of Chicago Law School, Thissen returned to Minnesota where he was a partner for two different law firms.
Announcing his run for governor in the Capitol rotunda, Thissen said, “I’m running for Governor because I believe we need a leader who knows governing is best done with Minnesotans, not for them.”
This isn’t Thissen’s first campaign for higher office. In 2009, he announced his bid for Governor of Minnesota when then-Governor Tim Pawlenty chose not to run for re-election. Thissen did very well, lasting five rounds at the DFL State Convention, but ultimately bowed out.
Thissen has been outspoken during his service as a state representative, advocating for transparency within the process of government.
In the last legislative year, Thissen has advocated for the government emails of lawmakers to be open to the public. Taking the “put your money where your mouth is” approach, Thissen handed over his emails to the Pioneer Press, telling Rachel Stassen-Berger, “If I’m going to be out pushing this, I might as well put my money where my mouth is, and I also think it’s going to be an interesting learning experience for the whole Legislature to see how this works.”
Republican lawmakers shot the bill down.
The field for Governor has grown rapidly in the last six months. Thissen’s announcement rounds the race of Democratic candidates to six. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, State Reps. Tina Liebling (D-Rochester) and Erin Murphy (D-St. Paul), State Auditor Rebecca Otto, and US Rep. Tim Walz have previously announced, with more candidates expected to announce later this year.