|Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives|
from the 14B district
|Assumed office |
January 6, 2015
|Preceded by||Zach Dorholt|
|Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives|
from the 15A district
January 3, 1995 – January 2, 2007
|Preceded by||Dave Gruenes|
|Succeeded by||Steve Gottwalt|
|Born||November 1957 (age 60–61)|
St. Cloud, Minnesota
|Political party||Republican Party of Minnesota|
|Residence||St. Cloud, Minnesota|
|Alma mater||Saint John's University (B.S.)|
Harvard University (M.B.A.)
Georgetown University (M.A.)
|Occupation||small business owner|
Jim Knoblach (born November 1957) is a Minnesota politician and member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. A member of the Republican Party of Minnesota, he represents District 14B in central Minnesota.
Early life and education
Knoblach was born and raised in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. He attended local public schools and graduated from Madison Elementary, North Junior High, and in 1976 from Apollo High School. He attended Saint Cloud State University and Saint John’s University, graduating in 1979 with a B.S. in economics and business administration. He also obtained a Certified Public Accountant license in 1979. He was then accepted at Harvard Business School, where he graduated with a M.B.A. in 1981. He later attended Georgetown University, graduating with a M.A. in American government in 1987, and also interned with U.S. Senator Dave Durenberger.
Knoblach’s first job was as a carpenter’s assistant for Master Builders, during high school and college. He also worked for his father’s real estate company, Mark’s Realty, and obtained a real estate sales license. After graduating from Harvard, he returned to work at his father’s real estate company, but left in late 1982 to purchase Coldwell Banker, Crown Realtors in Alexandria. He continues to own Crown with a partner today, doing real estate brokerage, investment and management in central and western Minnesota. In 1983 Knoblach became a general manager at MediSense Inc. in Minneapolis. In 1984 he purchased a line of their research products, which he later sold before moving to Washington DC in 1986. Upon returning to Minnesota in 1987, Knoblach started North Star Direct, a firm that did direct mail, data processing and specialty printing, which he sold in 1993. In 2006 Knoblach took a position as president of Space Data Corporation, an Arizona-based communications company. He left in 2007 and did medical device consulting in Minnesota until 2009 when he refocused on his real estate investment business.
Minnesota House of Representatives
Knoblach was first elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1994 and served until early 2007 after declining to run in the 2006 election. During his years in office Knoblach chaired the House Capital Investment Committee for two terms (1999-2002) and the House Ways and Means Committee for two terms (2003-06). Knoblach also chaired the House Republican Election Committee from 1997 to 2001, during which time House Republicans took the majority for the first time in 14 years, in 1998, and kept the majority for the first time in over 25 years, in 2000. Knoblach was also an Assistant Majority Leader.
In 2006 Knoblach ran for the Republican nomination for Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District, but came in second of four to Michele Bachmann, who was then elected to Congress. In 2014 Knoblach ran for State Representative in a different, more Democratic-leaning district, and narrowly defeated incumbent Zach Dorholt in what was then the most expensive State Representative race in Minnesota history. Knoblach was then named to again chair the House Ways and Means Committee. Knoblach defeated Dorholt again in 2016 in the most expensive State Representative race in Minnesota history, and continues to chair the Ways and Means Committee.
In September 2018, Knoblach dropped his reelection bid after MPR News reported that his daughter Laura alleged he had touched her inappropriately between the ages of 9 and 21. In an interview, Knoblach's attorney denied the allegations. A 2017 investigation of the allegations by local law enforcement resulted in no charges. St. Cloud police officer Trent Fischer stated that Knoblach's actions were "really inappropriate but not criminal" as Knoblach did not expose himself or touch his daughter under her clothes.
Knoblach and his wife, Janet, married in 1988. They have two children and reside in St. Cloud. He serves on the St. Cloud Salvation Army Advisory Board, the Central Minnesota Council Boy Scout Board, and the Big Brothers Big Sisters Advisory Board, and is a member of the St. Cloud Rotary. He was previously a member of the St. John’s University Board of Regents, the Board of the Saint Cloud Christian School, and several other boards.
- "St. Cloud Rep. Jim Knoblach will run for re-election". St. Cloud Times. Retrieved 2018-09-24.
- "Rep. Jim Knoblach proposes extending Northstar line to St. Cloud". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2018-09-24.
- "Lawmaker quits race after daughter says he molested her for more than a decade". SFGate. 2018-09-22. Retrieved 2018-09-24.
- Moini, Nina; Bierschbach, Briana (21 September 2018). "MN Rep. Jim Knoblach ends campaign ahead of MPR abuse allegations story". MPR News. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
- "Knoblach, Jim". Legislators Past & Present. Minnesota Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved June 24, 2015.