|Majority Leader of the Minnesota Senate|
January 3, 2017
|Preceded by||Tom Bakk|
|Member of the Minnesota Senate
from the 9th district
January 4, 2011
|Preceded by||Paul Koering|
|Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 12A district
January 4, 2005 – January 2, 2007
|Preceded by||Dale Walz|
|Succeeded by||John Ward|
|Born||October 1959 (age 58)|
|Education||Oral Roberts University (BA)|
Paul E. Gazelka (born October 1959) is a Minnesota politician and the majority leader of the Minnesota Senate. A Republican, Gazelka represents District 9, which includes communities in Cass, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties in the north central part of the state. He previously served in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Early life, education, and career
Gazelka attended Roosevelt High School in Virginia, Minnesota. He attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in business management. He worked in various capacities with State Farm Insurance through the years, including as an agent, manager, and field executive. Gazelka has served on the local Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club, school board, and as a volunteer for Teen Challenge and Habitat for Humanity. Gazelka owns and operates an insurance agency in Baxter. He is also an author.
Minnesota House of Representatives
Gazelka previously served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2005 to 2007, where he represented portions of Crow Wing County, including the city of Brainerd. During his term, he served as vice chair of the Commerce and Financial Institutions Committee, in addition to serving on the Jobs and Economic Opportunity Policy Finance Committee, the Transportation Committee, and the Commerce and Financial Institutions Subcommittee for the Tourism Division. Gazelka was defeated for re-election in 2006.
Gazelka was elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2010, defeating incumbent Republican Senator Paul Koering in an August primary election, and his Democratic challenger in the November general election. Following redistricting, Gazelka was placed in Senate District 9. He was re-elected to the Senate in 2012 and 2016. Following the 2016 election, which saw Republicans re-gain a majority in the Senate, Gazelka was elected by his caucus to be majority leader.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
- Bierschbach, Briana. "The softest voice in the room: How Paul Gazelka became the Legislature's most important player". MinnPost. Retrieved 2017-12-29.
- "Gazelka, Paul - Legislator Record - Minnesota Legislators Past & Present". www.leg.state.mn.us.
- Lopez, Ricardo. "New state Senate leader fervent in faith, measured in approach". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2017-12-29.
- "Senator Paul E. Gazelka (R) District 09". www.senate.leg.state.mn.us.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-28. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
- "Gazelka, Kresha head to DFL-controlled legislature". Morrison County Record. November 9, 2012.
- "Senate Republicans choose Sen. Paul Gazelka to lead new majority - Minnesota Senate Republicans". Minnesota Senate Republicans. 2016-11-10. Retrieved 2017-12-04.