List of Speakers of the Minnesota House of Representatives

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Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives
Seal of Minnesota-alt.png
Paul Thissen.jpg
Incumbent
Paul Thissen

since January 8, 2013
Term length Two years, no term limit
Inaugural holder George Bradley
Formation March 12, 1858
Website http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/
Seal of Minnesota-alt.png
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Minnesota

This is a list of Speakers of the Minnesota House of Representatives. The Speaker of the House is usually the leader of the majority party, and is the most powerful figure in the House. The current House Speaker is Rep. Paul Thissen.

Territorial[edit]

# Speaker Took office Left office Party/Caucus
1 Joseph W. Furber 1849 1851 Whig
2 Michael E. Ames 1851 1852 Democratic
3 John D. Ludden 1852 1853 Unknown
4 David Day 1853 1854 Unknown
5 Nathan C. D. Taylor 1854 1855 Unknown
6 James S. Norris 1855 1856 Democratic
7 Charles Gardner 1856 1857 Unknown
8 Joseph W. Furber 1857 1857 Whig
9 John S. Watrous 1857 1859 Republican

State[edit]

# Speaker Took office Left office Party/Caucus Notes Session
1 George Bradley March 12, 1858 6 December 1859 Republican 1st
2 Amos Coggswell 1859 1861 Republican 2nd
3 Jared Benson 1861 1862 Republican 3rd
4th
4 Charles D. Sherwood 1863 1863 Republican 5th
5 Jared Benson 1864 1864 Republican 6th
6 Thomas H. Armstrong 1864? 1865 Republican Unclear whether took office in 1864 or 1865 7th
7 James B. Wakefield 1866 1866 Republican Served as a U.S. Representative 8th
8 John Q. Farmer 1867 1868 Whig/Republican   9th
10th
9 Chester D. Davidson 1869 1869 Republican 11th
10 John L. Merriam 1870 1871 Republican   12th
13th
11 A.R. Hall 1872 1874 Republican   14th
15th
16th
12 William R. Kinyon 1875 1876 Republican   17th
18th
13 John L. Gibbs 1877 1877 Republican 19th
14 Charles A. Gilman 1878 1879 Republican   20th
21st
15 Loren Fletcher 1881 1885 Republican   22nd
23rd
16 John L. Gibbs 1885 1887 Republican 24th
17 William Rush Merriam 1887 1889 Republican Served as Governor of Minnesota 25th
18 Charles H. Graves 1889 1891 Republican 26th
19 Ezra T. Champlin 1891 1893 Alliance 27th
20 William E. Lee 1893 1895 Republican 28th
21 Samuel Rinnah Van Sant 1895 1897 Republican Served as Governor of Minnesota 29th
22 John D. Jones 1897 1899 Republican 30th
23 Arthur N. Dare 1899 1901 Republican 31st
24 M.J. Dowling 1901 1903 Republican 32nd
25 Leverett W. Babcock 1903 1905 Republican 33rd
26 Frank Clague 1905 1907 Republican Served as a U.S. Representative 34th
27 Lawrence H. Johnson 1907 1909 Republican 35th
28 Anton J. Rockne 1909 1911 Republican 36th
29 Howard H. Dunn 1911 1913 Republican 37th
30 Henry Rines 1913 1915 Conservative Served as Minnesota Treasurer 38th
31 H.H. Flowers 1915 1917 Conservative 39th
32 Ralph J. Parker January 1917 January 1919 Conservative 40th
33 William I. Nolan January 1919 January 1925 Conservative   41st
42nd
43rd
34 John A. Johnson January 1925 January 1931 Conservative   44th
45th
46th
35 Oscar A. Swenson January 1931 January 1933 Conservative 47th
36 Charles Munn January 1933 January 1935 Liberal 48th
37 George W. Johnson January 1935 January 1937 Conservative 49th
38 Harold H. Barker January 1937 January 1939 Liberal 50th
39 Lawrence M. Hall January 1939 January 1949 Conservative Longest-serving speaker 51st
52nd
53rd
54th
55th
40 John A. Hartle January 4, 1949 January 6, 1955 Conservative   56th
57th
58th
41 Alfred I. Johnson January 6, 1955 January 5, 1959 Liberal   59th
60th
42 Edwin J. Chilgren January 5, 1959 January 7, 1963 Liberal   61st
62nd
43 Lloyd L. Duxbury January 7, 1963 January 1971 Conservative   63rd
64th
65th
66th
44 A.W. Dirlam January 1971 January 1973 Conservative 67th
45 Martin Olav Sabo January 1973 January 1979 DFL Served as a U.S. Representative 68th
69th
70th
46 Rod Searle January 1979 January 1980 Independent-Republican 71st
47 Fred C. Norton January 1980 January 1981 DFL Served on Minnesota Court of Appeals
48 Harry A. Sieben January 1981 January 1985 DFL   72nd
73rd
49 David M. Jennings January 1985 January 1987 Independent-Republican 74th
50 Fred C. Norton January 1987 June 1987 DFL Served on Minnesota Court of Appeals 75th
51 Robert Vanasek June 1987 January 6, 1992 DFL   75th
76th
77th
52 Dee Long January 6, 1992 September 15, 1993 DFL First woman to serve as speaker. 77th
78th
53 Irv Anderson September 1993 January 1997 DFL   78th
79th
54 Phil Carruthers January 1997 January 1999 DFL 80th
55 Steve Sviggum January 1999 January 2007 Republican   81st
82nd
83rd
84th
56 Margaret Anderson Kelliher January 2007 January 2011 DFL   85th
86th
57 Kurt Zellers January 4, 2011 January 8, 2013 Republican 87th
57 Paul Thissen January 8, 2013 DFL 88th

Notes on Minnesota political party names[edit]

  • Republican Party of Minnesota: From November 15, 1975 to September 23, 1995 the name of the state Republican party was the Independent-Republican party (I-R). The party has always been affiliated with the national Republican Party.

In 1913, Minnesota legislators began to be elected on nonpartisan ballots. Nonpartisanship also was an historical accident that occurred in the 1913 session when a bill to provide for no party elections of judges and city and county officers was amended to include the Legislature in the belief that it would kill the bill. Legislators ran and caucused as "Liberals" or "Conservatives" roughly equivalent in most years to Democratic-Farmer-Labor and Republican, respectively. The law was changed in 1973, in 1974, House members again ran with party designation.

Speaker Emeritus[edit]

Under House rules, former speakers who are serving in the House are given the title of Speaker Emeritus. While the position has no formal power, the title is seen as a sign of respect for former speakers. Currently, Rep. Kurt Zellers is serving as Speaker Emeritus.[1]

References[edit]

External links[edit]