Dan Severson

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Dan Severson
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 14A district
In office
January 7, 2003 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Steve Dehler
Succeeded by Tim O'Driscoll
Personal details
Born Daniel Mark Severson
August 31, 1954 (1954-08-31) (age 64)
Mora, Minnesota, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Cathy Jo
Residence Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, U.S.
Alma mater St. Cloud State University
Profession Business owner
Fighter pilot
Military service
Allegiance U.S.
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1978–2000
Rank Commander

Daniel Mark "Doc" Severson[1] (born August 31, 1954) is an American politician. He is a former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives who represented District 14A, which includes portions of Benton and Stearns counties in the north central part of the state. He was also a candidate for Minnesota Secretary of State in 2010. A Republican, he is a retired U.S. Navy fighter pilot, business owner, and substitute teacher.[2] Severson has also run unsuccessfully three times for office statewide in Minnesota.

Early life, education, and military service[edit]

Severson graduated from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud in 1979 with a B.A. in Physics. He was a Navy fighter pilot, officer and commander from 1978 to 2000.[3]

Severson enlisted in the Navy in 1978 at the age of 21. Severson was in the Navy for 22 years, most of those years as a Strike-Fighter Pilot. Severson flew both the A-7 and FA-18 Hornet Strike Fighter during his career. Severson is a member of the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School also known as TOPGUN. Severson was stationed in Asia, Southern California, and Washington, D.C. During his time as a Naval Pilot, Severson's name was misread as Doc Severinsen, earning him the call sign "Doc".[4]

Minnesota House of Representatives[edit]


In 2002, after redistricting, Severson ran for the newly redrawn Minnesota House District 14A and won defeating DFL nominee Dennis Molitor 49%-47%.[5] In 2004, he won re-election to a second term with 62% of the vote.[6] In 2006, he won re-election to a third term with 54% of the vote.[7] In 2008, he won re-election to a fourth term with 55% of the vote.[8]


He was House Republican Minority Whip.[9] He co-sponsored a bill that would eliminate second-hand smoke in bars and restaurants.[10] In 2008, he supported Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty when he vetoed a $3.2 billion budget increase paid for by higher taxes.[11]

Committee assignments[edit]

Severson was a member of the House Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee for the Veterans Affairs Division, and the Finance subcommittees for the Housing Finance and Policy and Public Health Finance Division, the Public Safety Finance Division, and the Transportation Finance and Policy Division.[12]

2010 Secretary of State campaign[edit]

In October 2009, Severson announced that he had filed the paperwork to run for Minnesota Secretary of State, seeking the Republican Party's endorsement for his candidacy at their 2010 state convention.[13] He received the party's endorsement on April 29, 2010,[14] and challenged incumbent Secretary of State Mark Ritchie in the November 2010 general election.[15]

In his filing for Secretary of State, Severson sought to be listed using his Navy pilot call name Doc Severson, some thought it to be an allusion to former Tonight Show band leader Doc Severinsen. Severson was challenged because he had not previously appeared on the ballot with the nickname "Doc." Severson stated the nickname had been given to him as he went through flight training and followed him through his 22 year career.[16]

Severson ran for Secretary of State on the contention that there was widespread fraud in the recount of the 2008 Senate election and a requirement that voters show a Photo ID to vote.[17] Incumbent Democrat Secretary of State Mark Ritchie won re-election and defeated Severson 49%-46% .[18]

2012 U.S. Senate campaign[edit]

On May 16, 2011, Severson announced that he would seek the Republican party's endorsement for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Amy Klobuchar.[19] However, he lost the endorsement at the party convention and withdrew in favour of State Representative Kurt Bills. Klobuchar was re-elected in a landslide.

2014 Secretary of State campaign[edit]

Severson ran for Secretary of State again in 2014. After winning the party endorsement ahead of former State Senator John Howe, Severson was unopposed in the primary election. He lost the general election to Democratic State Representative Steve Simon by 901,450 votes (47.04%) to 879,022 (45.87%).


  1. ^ "Dan Severson for Senate Campaign Page". Retrieved August 10, 2011.
  2. ^ "Minnesota Legislators Past & Present - Legislator Record - Severson, Daniel "Dan"". Leg.state.mn.us. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  3. ^ "Project Vote Smart". Vote Smart. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  4. ^ "Rochester, MN". Post-Bulletin. Archived from the original on September 17, 2012. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  5. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=41341
  6. ^ "2004 Election Results". Our Campaigns. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  7. ^ "2006 Election Results". Our Campaigns. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  8. ^ "2008 Election Results". Our Campaigns. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  9. ^ Meet Archived March 11, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  10. ^ Tom Scheck (April 26, 2007). "Minnesota House approves smoking ban". St. Paul, Minnesota. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  11. ^ "Minn. lawmakers override governor's veto". February 26, 2008. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  12. ^ "Minnesota Legislators Past & Present - Legislator Record - Severson, Daniel "Dan"". House.leg.state.mn.us. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ Brock, Rick (April 30, 2010). "Minnesota GOP Convention Day 1 Results". RogueOn Minnesota. Archived from the original on July 27, 2011. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
  15. ^ Salisbury, Bill (April 28, 2010). "Minnesota GOP endorses Severson for Secretary of State". Twin Cities.
  16. ^ Severson's use of 'Doc' nickname on ballot challenged[dead link]
  17. ^ "Issues: Dan "Doc" Severson for Minnesota Secretary of State". Danseverson.com. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  18. ^ "Election Reporting". Electionresults.sos.state.mn.us. Archived from the original on September 8, 2011. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  19. ^ Washington Post - May 16, 2011: "Former Minn. GOP state Rep. Severson to challenge Democratic US Sen. Klobuchar in 2012"

External links[edit]