Kurt Zellers

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Kurt Zellers
Kurt Zellers.JPG
Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives
In office
January 4, 2011 – January 7, 2013
Preceded by Margaret Anderson Kelliher
Succeeded by Paul Thissen
Minority Leader of the Minnesota House of Representatives
In office
June 23, 2009 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Marty Seifert
Succeeded by Paul Thissen
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 34B district
32B (2003–2013)
In office
March 3, 2003 – January 5, 2015
Preceded by Rich Stanek
Succeeded by Dennis Smith
Personal details
Born (1969-10-16) October 16, 1969 (age 48)
Grand Forks, North Dakota, U.S.
Political party Republican Party of Minnesota
Spouse(s) Kimberly
Children Reagan
Residence Maple Grove, Minnesota
Alma mater University of North Dakota (B.S.)

Kurt Zellers (born October 16, 1969 in Grand Forks, North Dakota) is an American politician from Minnesota. He served as the Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2011 to 2013 and as the Minority Leader of the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2009 to 2011. A member of the Republican Party of Minnesota, he represented District 34B in Hennepin County in the northwestern Twin Cities metropolitan area. He was a candidate in the 2014 Minnesota gubernatorial election, losing in the Republican primary.

Early life, education, and career[edit]

Zellers was raised on a farm near Devils Lake, North Dakota, graduating from Devils Lake Central High School in 1988. He received his B.S. degree in political science from the University of North Dakota, where he was a member of the football team. He worked as communications director for U.S. Senator Rod Grams from 1994 to 2000, and as Communications Director for the Minnesota House Republican Caucus from 2000 to 2003 before being elected to the House himself. After his election, he took a position as a senior account executive with a Minneapolis public relations firm.[1][2]

Minnesota House of Representatives[edit]

Zellers was first elected in a special election on February 25, 2003. The seat had become vacant when Representative Rich Stanek resigned after being appointed Minnesota's Commissioner of Public Safety by Governor Tim Pawlenty. Zellers has been reelected in every election since then.[1]

Zellers became an assistant majority leader in 2003 and, after House control was won by the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL) in the 2006 elections, continued as an assistant minority leader. During the 2009 to 2010 legislative biennium, he was a member of the House Commerce and Labor Committee and the Taxes Committee. He also served on the Commerce and Labor Subcommittee for the Labor and Consumer Protection Division, and on the Finance Subcommittee for the Transportation and Transit Policy and Oversight Division.[1]

On June 23, 2009, Zellers was elected by the House Republican Caucus to succeed Representative Marty Seifert as Minority Leader. Seifert had stepped down to focus on a potential campaign for governor. On November 6, 2010, Zellers was selected by his caucus to serve as Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives for the 2011 to 2012 legislative session.[3]

On February 24, 2014, Zellers announced that he would not seek reelection to the House, in order to concentrate on his gubernatorial campaign.[4] He was succeeded by Dennis Smith on January 6, 2015.

2014 Minnesota gubernatorial campaign[edit]

On June 23, 2013, Zellers announced his candidacy in the 2014 Minnesota gubernatorial election.[5] He was defeated in the Republican primary on August 12, 2014, by the party's endorsed candidate, Jeff Johnson.


  1. ^ a b c "Zellers, Kurt". Legislators Past & Present. Minnesota Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved June 24, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Representative Kurt Zellers's Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved June 24, 2013. 
  3. ^ von Sternberg, Bob (November 6, 2010). "GOP's Kurt Zellers tapped as state's new House speaker". Star Tribune. Retrieved June 24, 2013. 
  4. ^ Simons, Abby (February 24, 2014). "GOP Rep. Kurt Zellers will not seek re-election". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  5. ^ Condon, Patrick (June 23, 2013). "GOP's Zellers vows common touch in Minn. governor's race, but brings past political baggage". Associated Press. Retrieved June 24, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Marty Seifert
Minority Leader of the Minnesota House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Paul Thissen
Preceded by
Margaret Anderson Kelliher
Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives
Minnesota House of Representatives
Preceded by
Rich Stanek
Member of the House of Representatives
from District 34B
32B (2003–2013)

2003 – January 5, 2015
Succeeded by
Dennis Smith