Bob Barrett (politician)

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Bob Barrett
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 32B district
17B (2011–2013)
In office
January 4, 2011 – January 2, 2017
Preceded by Jeremy Kalin
Succeeded by Anne Neu
Personal details
Born 1967 (age 49–50)
Political party Republican Party of Minnesota
Spouse(s) Judi
Children 2
Residence Shafer, Minnesota[1]
Alma mater Minnesota State University, Mankato
Occupation executive director

Robert "Bob" Barrett (born 1967) is a Minnesota politician and former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. A member of the Republican Party of Minnesota, he represented District 32B, which included portions of Chisago County just north of the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

Early life, education, and career[edit]

Barrett graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato in Mankato, receiving his B.A. in Accounting in 1989. Active in his community, he served on the Chisago Lakes School District Finance Team, and was also a school district mentor. He is a sports referee and umpire, officiating for basketball, football, baseball and softball games.[2][3] He is the Director of Market Research and Marketing Analysis for the Hazelden Foundation.[4]

Minnesota House of Representatives[edit]

Barrett was first elected to the House in 2010. He was re-elected in 2012 and 2014.

False campaign literature distribution and conviction[edit]

On February 5, 2013, Representative Barrett was fined $1000 for disseminating campaign literature that misrepresented the record of his opponent in the previous election. The Administrative Law Judge Panel concluded that the false information "likely had some impact on voters" in Barrett's 51%/49% victory. (Barrett) stated that his opponent “did not serve on the education committee even though our schools need help.” Barrett’s challenger Rick Olseen did sit on an education committee when he served as a state senator.[5][6]

Residency questions[edit]

In 2014, Barrett's residency in the district that he represented came into question. Evidence submitted included photos of the empty house and affidavits from neighbors claiming that Barrett indeed, was not observed as being a resident of the home in question. In August 2014 District Court Judge George Stephenson ruled that "Despite his own doubts" about Barrett's residency, that the evidence was insufficient. [7][8]

Again in 2016, Barrett's residency was brought before the same judge that had ruled in 2014 that Barrett's residency evidence was "insufficient". In early August, evidence collected from a group of advocates were administered into a formal complaint against Barrett and his claim of residency in his own district.

The Second Judicial District Judge George Stephenson found “clear and convincing evidence[9]” that Barrett didn’t live in House District 32B. His opinion questioned the legitimacy of Mr. Barrett's testimony, including the fact that Mr. Barrett did not establish "cable/satellite television, internet, trash pickup, or a washer and dryer" at his residence.[10] He also noted that among more than 30 visits, Barrett never was available at the home in question.[11] Mr. Barrett had rented from a campaign contributor the house in Taylor's Falls, MN for $300 a month, about 1/4 of which a rental property of the size and scale could be expected from a similar property in the area.[12]

The Minnesota Supreme Court heard an appeal on the ballot removal on September 6, 2016.[13] On September 9, 2016, the Minnesota Supreme Court upheld the ruling removing Barrett from the November ballot. A special election will be held on Feb 14, 2017 for this seat. (Until then, the seat remains vacant during the start of the 2017 legislative session.) The Minnesota Republican Party must choose a candidate for that special election by Nov 15, 2016. This person must have resided in the district before Aug 14, 2016, 6 months before the special election. (This eliminates Bob Barrett, who the court has ruled does not live in the district.)


External links[edit]