Carl Jensen (Minnesota politician)

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Carl Jensen
Member of the Minnesota Senate from the 17th and 28th District
In office
Preceded by John M. Zwach
Succeeded by Dennis R. Frederickson
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives from District 14
In office
Preceded by William V. Burroughs
Succeeded by Harvey Paulson
Personal details
Born December 11, 1920
Sleepy Eye, Minnesota
Died May 4, 1988
Arden Hills, Minnesota
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Patricia (second wife)
Children 8
Alma mater University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota Law School
Profession attorney, legislator, veteran
Religion Lutheran

Carl Arthur Jensen (December 11, 1920 – May 4, 1988) was a Minnesota politician and a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives and the Minnesota Senate from southwestern Minnesota. He first ran for the House in 1950, when the District 14 seat for Brown County became vacant due to the unexpected death of Rep. William V. Burroughs. He was re-elected to the House in 1952, 1954, 1956 and 1958.[1]

In 1966, after several years away from public service, Jensen ran successfully for the District 17 state senate seat being vacated by John M. Zwach, Sr., who was running for the U.S. Congress. District 17 later became District 28 after redistricting in 1970, and included all or portions of Brown, Cottonwood, Murray, Nicollet and Redwood counties.[2] He was reelected in 1970, 1972 and 1976.

From the city of Sleepy Eye, Jensen was a local attorney and military veteran. He served in the United States Air Force during World War II. After returning from the war, he attended law school at the University of Minnesota and graduated With Honors in 1949. Once admitted to the bar, he engaged in private practice, and also served as attorney for the Sleepy Eye School District for nine years, and for the City of Sleepy Eye for 14 years.[3]

As representative and senator, Jensen allied with the Conservative Caucus at a time when the legislature was still officially nonpartisan. He later identified as Republican when party affiliation became required of political candidates. His key areas of interest were agriculture, commerce, the judiciary, and taxes and tax laws.

While in the senate, Jensen served on the Commerce, Elections, Environment & Natural Resources, General Legislation, Health, Welfare & Corrections, Judiciary, Public Highways, Rules & Administration, and Taxes & Tax Laws committees, and on various other committee incarnations and subcommittees. He was chair of the General Legislation Committee from 1971 to 1973, and was an assistant minority leader from 1977 to 1981.[4] He also served on the Minnesota Voyageur's National Park Commission during the 1970s.

Jensen did not to run for re-election in 1980, as he was appointed to the Minnesota Tax Court by Governor Al Quie. He served on the tax court from 1981 to 1986.[5] Curiously, in 1986, he ran unsuccessfully as a DFL candidate for the Minnesota Senate, despite being a lifelong Republican.

After the death of his wife in 1977, Jensen remarried in 1979. His second wife, Patricia, was a member of Governor Quie's staff. He was the father of five children and three stepchildren.

Jensen died of cancer in 1988 at his home in Arden Hills.


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