Matt Entenza

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Matt Entenza
Minnesota House Minority Leader
In office
January 7, 2003 – June 20, 2006
Preceded by Tom Pugh
Succeeded by Margaret Anderson Kelliher
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 64A district
In office
January 3, 1995 – June 20, 2006
Preceded by Kathleen Vellenga
Succeeded by Erin Murphy
Personal details
Born (1961-10-04) October 4, 1961 (age 52)
Santa Monica, California
Nationality American
Political party Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
Spouse(s) Lois Quam
Children Ben, Will, and Steve
Residence St. Paul, Minnesota
Alma mater Macalester College
Oxford University
University of Minnesota
Occupation Attorney
Religion Lutheran

Matthew "Matt" Keating Entenza is a Minnesota lawyer and politician who served six terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives and also ran for state attorney general. He served as House Minority Leader from 2003–2006, stepping down to focus on the attorney general's race. He withdrew from that race on July 18, 2006.

Entenza sought the office of governor in 2010.[1] After failing to gain the DFL caucus endorsement, he declined to withdraw from the race, ultimately finishing third in the August 2010 primary election, behind former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton.[2]

Entenza is running for Minnesota State Auditor against the DFL incumbent, Rebecca Otto, in the 2014 election.[3]


Entenza was born in Santa Monica, California.[4] He studied at Augustana College in South Dakota before transferring to Macalester College. After graduating, Entenza studied law at Oxford University and taught high school. After returning to Minnesota, he received his J.D. with honors from the University of Minnesota Law School.[4]

After graduating, Entenza clerked for U.S. District Judge Harry H. MacLaughlin. He then joined the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, assigned to the Charities Division. Entenza also concurrently taught law at St. Mary's University. He later joined the Hennepin County Attorney's office, principally prosecuting white-collar crime.

Service in the Minnesota House of Representatives[edit]

A Democrat, Entenza was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives from District 64A in 1994. The district includes portions of the city of Saint Paul in Ramsey County. He served on the K-12 Finance, Education Policy, and Commerce committees.[4] He was chief author of the “Do Not Call List” law, a consumer privacy initiative. In 2004, his caucus won 14 legislative seats, resulting in a 68-66 House divide.

2006 Minnesota Attorney General race[edit]

On July 18, 2006, Entenza withdrew his candidacy from the race for Minnesota Attorney General. Critics had raised concerns of a conflict of interest due to Entenza's wife's high ranking executive position at UnitedHealth Group. Entenza's political campaign committee was also fined $28,000 by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Disclosure Board on August 15, 2006, for exceeding the legal amount for contributions.[5]

Minnesota 2020[edit]

Entenza founded a Saint Paul-based think tank called Minnesota 2020 in June 2007.[6]

2010 gubernatorial campaign[edit]

Entenza announced that he would seek the Minnesota DFL's endorsement for the 2010 Minnesota gubernatorial race, later dropping out of the endorsement process and running a primary campaign without the DFL endorsement. Before removing himself from the official endorsement process, he was endorsed by Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison in May 2009[7] and Minnesota Stonewall DFL in December 2009.[8] On May 27, 2010, he announced television broadcaster Robyne Robinson as his lieutenant governor running mate.[9]

Unlike other DFL candidates, who withdrew from the race after failing to gain the DFL caucus endorsement, Entenza elected to participate in the primary election. Entenza ultimately finished third in the 2010 DFL primary election, coming in behind Mark Dayton and Margaret Anderson Kelliher.


Entenza and former wife Lois Quam are no longer married. They have three sons, Ben, Will, and Steve.

Entenza frequently mentions his Norwegian-American background.


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Tom Pugh
Minnesota House Minority Leader
2003 – 2006
Succeeded by
Margaret Anderson Kelliher
Minnesota House of Representatives
Preceded by
Kathleen Vellenga
State Representative from Minnesota District 64A
1995 – 2006
Succeeded by
Erin Murphy