|Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 52B district
January 3, 2003 – January 2, 2017
|Preceded by||Bob Milbert|
|Succeeded by||Regina Barr|
October 6, 1965 |
South St. Paul, Minnesota
|Political party||Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party|
|Alma mater||University of Minnesota
William Mitchell College of Law
Joseph "Joe" Atkins (born October 6, 1965) is a Minnesota attorney and former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. A member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL), he represented District 52B, which included portions of Dakota County in the southeastern Twin Cities metropolitan area.
Early life, education, and career
Born in South St. Paul, Atkins grew up in Inver Grove Heights. After graduating from Simley High School in 1984, he earned his B.A. from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 1988 and his Juris Doctorate magna cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law in Saint Paul in 1991. While in college and law school, he worked full-time as a law clerk and started a legal investigation business.
Atkins has been practicing law since 1991. He is a partner in the law firm of Thuet, Pugh, Rogosheske & Atkins in South St. Paul, one of Minnesota's oldest law firms. He also does significant pro bono work for those who cannot afford to hire an attorney.
In 1987, Inver Grove Heights voters elected Atkins to the School Board. At the age of 21, he was the youngest school board member in the nation. Five years later, in 1992, he was elected mayor of Inver Grove Heights, serving for 10 years to become its longest-serving mayor to that date (a record since surpassed by sitting mayor George Tourville).
Minnesota House of Representatives
Atkins was first elected to the House in 2002 and was reelected every two years until retiring in 2016.
Potential 2008 U.S. Senate run
Atkins and his wife, Julia, have three children: John, Tom and Katie.
Honors and accolades
Atkins has garnered numerous awards for his public service, including being named one of Ten Outstanding Young Americans by the United States Jaycees in 2001. In 2003, while in his first term in the Minnesota House, he was selected "Freshman Representative of the Year" by Politics in Minnesota magazine. Readers of local newspaper the South-West Review have also voted Atkins a "Best Local Elected Official" 10 times, more than any other official. Atkins received a rating of "0" from the Minnesota Taxpayers League in the 2011 legislative session to bring his career rating to "8".
He has earned numerous awards as an attorney, including being named one of 10 Minnesota SuperLawyers by the "Minnesota Journal of Law and Politics" and Member of the Year in 2006 by the Minnesota Association for Justice.
- "Atkins, Joseph "Joe"". Legislators Past & Present. Minnesota Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
- Scheck, Tom (2007-01-25). "Another DFLer is considering a U.S. Senate run". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved 2007-06-04.
- "Legislative Scorecard for 2011" (PDF). Taxpayers League of Minnesota. p. 3. Retrieved February 5, 2013.