|Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives|
from the 47A district
January 4, 2011 – January 5, 2015
|Preceded by||Paul Kohls|
|Succeeded by||Jim Nash|
August 7, 1953|
|Political party||Republican Party of Minnesota|
Ernest Gilbert "Ernie" Leidiger (born August 7, 1953) is a Minnesota politician and former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. A member of the Republican Party of Minnesota, he represented District 47A, which includes central and western Carver County in the southern part of the state. He is also a former general manager and owner of Brothers Office Furniture.
Early life, education, and career
Leidiger graduated from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland with a B.S. in General Engineering. He subsequently received a M.S. in Management from Salve Regina College in Newport, Rhode Island, then went on to the Naval War College, also in Newport, where he earned his M.A. in National Security and Strategic Planning. He served in the United States Navy and was an officer in Iraq during the Persian Gulf War's Operation Desert Storm. He was co-founder of Operation Homefront, a nonprofit organization serving military families of deployed service members.
Minnesota House of Representatives
Leidiger was first elected to the House in 2010.
In 2011, Leidiger brought controversy upon himself by inviting Bradlee Dean, a radical pastor and founder of You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International, to deliver the opening prayer of the May 20th session of the House. The rambling address ended with Dean implying that President Barack Obama is not a Christian. Dean had previously been denounced for anti-gay rhetoric. Leidiger apologized for the invitation, saying that he had been attracted to Dean's message to "bring the Constitution back" to our schools, but that he had been unaware of Dean's views on homosexuality. He later appeared on Dean's radio program.
On March 1, 2012, the Minnesota DFL filed a complaint with the Office of Administrative Hearings alleging that Representative Leidiger spent $178 of campaign funds to pay a speeding ticket. On April 4, 2012 the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board issued a $300 fine to Leidiger's Campaign Treasurer for knowingly filing a false campaign finance report. On May 14, 2012 the Office of Administrative Hearings issued a $500 fine to Leidiger for violating Minn Stat 211.B12(7).
2012 redistricting reduced the geographical size of the district, removing Scott County and renumbering the district to 47A. On May 15, 2012 Leidiger was endorsed for re-election by the Carver County GOP by acclamation without an opponent being nominated against him. On November 6, 2012, Leidiger was re-elected for a second term with 64% of the vote. He announced on February 5, 2014 that he would not run for re-election in 2014.
- "Minnesota Legislators Past & Present - Legislator Record - Leidiger, Ernie". Leg.state.mn.us. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
- "About Ernie Leidiger 34A". Leidiger.com. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
- "OH.NET: Home". Operationhomefront.net. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
- "Prayer controversy jeopardizes same-sex amendment vote". StarTribune.com. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
- "Leidiger's campaign-paid speeding ticket draws DFL complaint". Startribune.com. Retrieved 2012-03-01.
- "04-03-2012 Nielsen Leidiger Ruling" (PDF). State of Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. 2012-04-03. Retrieved 2012-04-04.[permanent dead link]
- "May 14, 2012 Office of Administrative Hearings Ruling on DFL Complaint". State of Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings. 2012-05-14. Retrieved 2012-05-14.
- Simons, Abby (February 5, 2014). "Leidiger announces retirement after two terms". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 5, 2014.