Jerry Newton (politician)

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Jerry Newton
Jerry Newton.jpg
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 37A district
Assumed office
January 8, 2013
Preceded by redrawn district
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 49B district
In office
January 6, 2009 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Kathy Tingelstad
Succeeded by Branden Petersen
Personal details
Born (1937-09-15) September 15, 1937 (age 77)
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Political party Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party
Spouse(s) Rita
Children 6
Residence Coon Rapids, Minnesota
Alma mater University of Maryland
Boston University
University of Leuven
University of Minnesota
Occupation business owner, educator, legislator, veteran
Religion United Church of Christ

Gerald F. "Jerry" Newton (born September 15, 1937) is a Minnesota politician and member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. A member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL), he represents District 37A, which includes portions of Anoka County in the northern Twin Cities metropolitan area. He is also a former grocery store owner and career soldier.[1]

Early life, education, and career[edit]

Newton graduated from Osseo High School in Osseo, then earned his B.A. in government from the University of Maryland in 1973. He received his MA in international relations in 1975 from Boston University, and studied at the doctoral level at the Catholic University of Leuven in Leuven, Belgium, and at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Newton served in the United States Army from 1955–1978, retiring as a sergeant major, after serving in Vietnam during the Vietnam War, and spending seven years in the Middle East. The Bronze Star and the Vietnamese Medal of Valor are among his many awards and decorations.[citation needed] He taught government at the University of Maryland from 1975–1976, and was a teaching assistant at the University of Minnesota from 1979-1980. He owned and managed the Blaine Dairy Store and Foley Blvd Dairy Store from 1980-2000.[1][2]

Minnesota House of Representatives[edit]

Newton was first elected to the house in 2008, succeeding six-term Representative Kathy Tingelstad, who did not seek re-election.[3] He was unseated by Republican Branden Petersen in the 2010 general election.[4] He ran again and was elected in 2012.

During his first term, he was a member of the House K-12 Education Policy and Oversight Committee, and also served on the Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee for the Veterans Affairs Division, of which he was vice chair, and on the Finance subcommittees for the K-12 Education Finance Division and the Transportation Finance and Policy Division.[5]

He was the Minnesota School Board Association 2009 Legislator of the Year.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Active in his local community and government, Newton was a member of the Coon Rapids City Council from 1994–2000, and served as acting mayor from 1999-2000. He was a member of the Anoka-Hennepin School District 11 School Board from 2000-2008. Through the years, he chaired the Anoka Human Rights Council, served on the Anoka County Affordable Housing Coalition, the Coon Rapids Economic Development Authority, the Crystal Housing and Re-Development Authority, the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee of the National League of Cities (1995–2000), the Metropolitan Council Transportation Advisory Board (1996–2000), the Association of Metropolitan Municipalities, and the Northstar Corridor Development Authority.[1][2] He also initiated the Highway 10 Corridor Coalition.[citation needed]

Newton was a founding board member of Free 2 Be, Inc. and is a member of the Metro North Chamber of Commerce and the Coon Rapids Rotary. He is a life member of the VFW and is a member of the Coon Rapids American Legion. Newton is best known locally for virtually single-handedly creating the rail crossing quiet zones which set a national standard for enhanced rail crossing safety while silencing train whistles. He also wrote the local school district anti-bullying policy which became the base for the State of Minnesota anti-bullying policy.[citation needed]


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