Martin Olav Sabo

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Martin Olav Sabo
MartinSabo.jpeg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 5th district
In office
January 3, 1979 – January 3, 2007
Preceded by Donald M. Fraser
Succeeded by Keith Ellison
45th Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives
In office
1973–1979
Preceded by A.W. Dirlam
Succeeded by Rod Searle
Personal details
Born (1938-02-28) February 28, 1938 (age 76)
Crosby, North Dakota
Political party Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
Spouse(s) Sylvia Ann Lee
Residence Minneapolis, Minnesota
Alma mater Augsburg College
Occupation political assistant
Religion Lutheran

Martin Olav Sabo (born February 28, 1938) is an American politician and member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) and a former United States Representative for Minnesota's fifth district, which includes Minneapolis; the district is one of eight congressional districts in Minnesota.

Sabo was born of Norwegian immigrant parents in Crosby, North Dakota and in 1959 received a B.A. from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, later pursuing graduate studies at the University of Minnesota. He was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1960 at the age of 22, later serving as minority leader (1969–72) and as the first Democrat to serve as house speaker (1973–78). During his tenure in the state house he served terms as president of the National Conference of State Legislatures and of the National Legislative Conference, and was a presidential appointee to the National Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.

When eight-term incumbent and fellow DFLer Donald M. Fraser stepped down to run for the U.S. Senate, Sabo became the DFL candidate to succeed him in what had become the most reliably Democratic district in Minnesota (Fraser had defeated a 10-term Republican in 1962 and hadn't faced serious opposition since). He won easily in November 1978 and was reelected thirteen times without serious opposition, serving in the 96th, 97th, 98th, 99th, 100th, 101st, 102nd, 103rd, 104th, 105th, 106th, 107th, 108th, and 109th congresses.

During the 103rd Congress (1993–94) he chaired the House Budget Committee. As chairman of the Committee, he shepherded the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 through the House, legislation that allowed the United States to erase its budget deficit by 1999.[1] (The deficit subsequently returned.) In the 109th United States Congress he sat on the House Appropriations Committee, and was the ranking member of that committee's Homeland Security subcommittee.

A Lutheran, Sabo is married and has two children and six grandchildren. His daughter, Julie Sabo, is a former member of the Minnesota Senate and was the 2002 Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota. During the course of his career Sabo referred to himself as a "liberal decentrist", preferring progressive politics, but local control instead of federal control.[2]

Sabo was considered to be the most liberal member of the Minnesota delegation in the 109th Congress, scoring 4% conservative by a conservative group[3] and 90% progressive by a liberal group.[4] Minnesota Congressional Districts shows the scores for the entire delegation.

On March 18, 2006 he announced that he would not run for reelection for the 110th Congress, ending 46 years as an elected official, including 28 years in Congress – the second-longest tenure in either house of Congress in the state's history, behind only fellow Democrat Jim Oberstar.[2][5] His seat was then won by State Representative Keith Ellison, also a progressive DFLer, who replaced Sabo as the Fifth District representative on January 4, 2007.

Sabo serves as a co-chair of the National Transportation Policy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center.[6] For his work on acquiring funding for transportation projects and specifically pedestrian and bicycling funding, the Midtown Greenway bridge in Minneapolis was named the Martin Olav Sabo Bridge.

Sabo was a lifelong smoker until he quit in 2003.

Electoral history[edit]

  • 2004 Race for U.S. House of Representatives – 5th District
    • Martin Olav Sabo (DFL) (inc.), 70%
    • Daniel Mathias (R), 24%
    • Jay Pond (G), 6%

References[edit]

  1. ^ "During the Clinton administration was the federal budget balanced? Was the federal deficit erased? Yes to Both Questions.". FactCheck.org. 
  2. ^ a b "Longtime Minnesota Rep. Sabo to Announce Retirement". Fox News. March 18, 2006. 
  3. ^ "Congressional Voting Scorecard 2005" (PDF). SBE Council’s Congressional Voting Scorecard 2005. Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. June 2006. Retrieved November 2, 2006. 
  4. ^ "Leading with the Left". Progressive Punch. Retrieved November 2, 2006. 
  5. ^ http://www.startribune.com/587/story/315645.html
  6. ^ [1] "National Transportation Policy Project"

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Donald M. Fraser
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 5th congressional district

1979–2007
Succeeded by
Keith Ellison
Political offices
Preceded by
Leon Panetta
California
Chairman of the House Budget Committee
1993–1995
Succeeded by
John Kasich
Ohio
Preceded by
A.W. Dirlam
Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives
1973–1979
Succeeded by
Rodney N. Searle