Cal Ludeman

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Cal Ludeman
Secretary of the Minnesota Senate
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
President Michelle Fischbach
Preceded by JoAnne Zoff
In office
January 4, 2011 – January 7, 2013
President Michelle Fischbach
Preceded by JoAnne Zoff and Peter Wattson
Succeeded by JoAnne Zoff
Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services
In office
July 2006 – January 2011
Governor Tim Pawlenty
Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employee Relations
In office
January 2003 – July 2006
Governor Tim Pawlenty
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 27A district
20B (1979–1983)
In office
January 3, 1979 – January 7, 1985
Preceded by Russell Stanton
Succeeded by Jim Boerboom
Personal details
Born April 1951 (age 66)
Political party Republican Party of Minnesota
Spouse(s) Deb
Children 3
Alma mater South Dakota State University
University of Wyoming

Cal R. Ludeman (born April 1951) is a Minnesota politician, Secretary of the Minnesota Senate, and former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives from southwestern Minnesota. First elected in 1978, he was re-elected in 1980 and 1982. He represented the old District 20B and, after redistricting in 1980, District 27A, which included all or portions of Lincoln and Lyon counties.

State representative[edit]

From the town of Tracy, Ludeman, a farmer, was active on issues relevant to agriculture, the environment and labor-management relations while in the legislature. He served on the House Agriculture, Environment & Natural Resources, Government Operation, Labor-Management Relations, and Transportation committees, and on various sub-committees relevant to each area. He was minority whip during the 1983-84 legislative session.[1]

Gubernatorial and congressional runs[edit]

After opting not to run again for his legislative seat in 1984, Ludeman turned his eyes toward the governor’s chair, running as the Republican-endorsed candidate for Governor of Minnesota in 1986, but he failed to unseat popular incumbent Governor Rudy Perpich. In 1992, he ran for the congressional seat being vacated by Vin Weber. After a close, hard-fought race, he lost to David Minge.

Service as state commissioner[edit]

Governor Arne Carlson appointed Ludeman to serve on his Commission on Reform and Efficiency (CORE) in 1991, a position he held until 1994. In 2003, newly elected Governor Tim Pawlenty tapped Ludeman to be his commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Employee Relations. He remained in that position until July 2006, when Pawlenty appointed him acting commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services—a position later made permanent in December of that year.[2]

As Minnesota’s Commissioner of Human Services, Ludeman also served as chair of the governor's Health Cabinet, which is charged with using the state’s health care purchasing influence to buy better health care, to streamline and improve health care regulation, and to drive the market to obtain better health care-related results for Minnesotans. He co-chaired the governor’s Health Transformation Task Force, which resulted in significant health care reform in 2008.[2]

Service as Secretary of the Senate[edit]

After Governor Pawlenty left office in January 2011, Ludemann was selected to serve as Secretary of the Minnesota Senate by the incoming Republican majority.[3]

Ludeman's involvement in the termination of a former employee of the Minnesota Senate, Michael Brodkorb, has come under scrutiny due to a pending lawsuit by Brodkorb. Ludeman was listed in initial paperwork regarding Brodkorb's planned lawsuit over his termination from the Minnesota Senate.[4] Lawyers representing Brodkorb have announced additional claims against the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Senate and Ludeman over allegations that Ludeman disclosed private unemployment data about Brodkorb in an interview with Minnesota Public Radio.[5] Brodkorb's attorneys also announced plans to sue for defamation per se over statements Ludeman made in a press release where he accused Brodkorb of attempting to "extort payment from the Senate."[6]

On May 25, 2012, the Minnesota Senate released legal bills showing they had spent $46,150 in the first 3 months of 2012 to prepare a defense to Brodkorb's suit.[7] An analysis of the bill by the Associated Press showed the bulk of the $46,150 owed was due to attorneys retained by the Minnesota Senate repeatedly meeting with Ludeman.[8]

On June 19, 2012, the Minnesota Senate announced additional legal bills in the amount of $38,533, bringing the total legal costs incurred by the Minnesota Senate due to the termination of Brodkorb to almost $85,000 since the end of the May 2012.[9]

Ludeman was again selected to be secretary of the Senate following the Republicans regaining a majority in the 2016 election.


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ Cal Ludeman picked for secretary of the MN Senate
  4. ^ Stassen-Berger, Rachel (March 15, 2012). "Brodkorb: Other staffers who had affairs treated differently". Star Tribune. Retrieved June 2, 2012. 
  5. ^ Richert, Catherine (April 13, 2012). "Brodkorb planning to add claim of invasion of privacy to lawsuit". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved June 2, 2012. 
  6. ^ Stassen-Berger, Rachel (April 6, 2012). "Brodkorb warns Senate he plans to sue for $500,000". Star Tribune. Retrieved June 2, 2012. 
  7. ^ Lohn, Martiga (May 25, 2012). "State's costs in possible Brodkorb suit mount". Associated Press. Retrieved June 2, 2012. 
  8. ^ Lohn, Martiga (April 6, 2012). "State's costs in possible Brodkorb suit mount". Associated Press. Retrieved June 2, 2012. 
  9. ^ Lohn, Martiga (June 19, 2012). "Minn. Senate legal bill jumps to $84K in Brodkorb case". Associated Press. Retrieved July 1, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Minnesota House of Representatives
Preceded by
Russell Stanton
Member of the House of Representatives
for District 27A
District 20B (1979–1983)

Succeeded by
Jim Boerboom
Party political offices
Preceded by
Wheelock Whitney, Jr.
Republican nominee for Governor of Minnesota
Succeeded by
Jon Grunseth
Endorsed Gubernatorial Candidate,
Minnesota Republican Party State Convention

Political offices
Preceded by
JoAnne Zoff and Peter Wattson
Secretary of the Minnesota Senate
Succeeded by
JoAnne Zoff
Preceded by
JoAnne Zoff
Secretary of the Minnesota Senate