|Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 5A district
|Preceded by||Dominic J. Elioff|
August 23, 1950 |
|Political party||Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party|
|Alma mater||Mesabi Range Community and Technical College
University of Minnesota
Thomas "Tom" Rukavina (born August 23, 1950) is a Minnesota politician and member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. A member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, he represents District 5A, including the Mesabi Range in St. Louis County in northeastern Minnesota. In 2010 he was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Minnesota, seeking the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party nomination. Rukavina is said to be considering a run for St. Louis County Commissioner in 2014.
Rukavina has served thirteen terms in the Minnesota legislature since 1986. In 2012, he announced he will not seek reelection, citing his frustration with the partisan atmosphere at the state Capitol. 
Early life and background
Rukavina was born in Virginia, Minnesota, and graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth with a Bachelor of Art degree cum laude in political science. He first held elected office in the 1970s on the Virginia School Board and Pike Town Board. Before becoming a full-time legislator, he worked in various positions, including at the Minntac taconite plant, as a logger and a naturalist at the Ironworld Discovery Center in Chisholm, Minnesota, and as an assistant director at Giants Ridge Ski Area.
Rukavina garnered brief national attention from Fox News Channel on March 16, 2007, for a bill he introduced to ban the sale of foreign-made American flags in Minnesota. The bill later passed into law.
2010 gubernatorial campaign
On July 23, 2009, Rukavina filed paperwork for an exploratory committee for Governor of Minnesota, making his candidacy official in early September. He announced his decision at a Duluth park and was later endorsed by Congressman Jim Oberstar. At the DFL state convention he gave an "electrifying" floor speech before conceding the race and endorsing Margaret Anderson Kelliher.
TCF Bank Stadium and alcohol controversy
In 2009, Rukavina opposed allowing the University of Minnesota to sell beer and wine only in premium seats at TCF Bank Stadium. He insisted that the University alter its policy to sell alcohol to all legal drinkers throughout the stadium, including its own students.
- "Rukavina, Tom". Reference Library. Minnesota Legislature. 2009. Retrieved September 23, 2009.
- "Iron Ranger Rukavina files for governor's race - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports". Kttc.com. 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
- "Rukavina files paperwork for governor’s race " Minnesota Independent: News. Politics. Media". Minnesotaindependent.com. 2008-08-25. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
- Kimball, Joe (September 8, 2009). "State DFL Rep. Rukavina officially joins race for governor". Political Agenda (MinnPost.com). Retrieved September 23, 2009.
- "WDIO.com". Stopthemaddness.org. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
- By PAT DOYLE, Star Tribune (2010-05-03). "TCF Stadium bill comes up dry". StarTribune.com. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
- Tom Rukavina at Minnesota Legislators Past & Present
- Rep. Rukavina Web Page
- Minnesota Public Radio - Votetracker: Tom Rukavina Voting Record
- Project Vote Smart - Rep. Tom Rukavina Profile
- Follow the Money - Thomas Rukavina Campaign Contributions
- Rep. Rukavina Campaign Web Site
- Rukavina for Governor, 2010 web site
|Minnesota House of Representatives|
Dominic J. Elioff
|Minnesota State Representative for District 5A