Peggy Flanagan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Peggy Flanagan
50th Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota
Assumed office
January 7, 2019
GovernorTim Walz
Preceded byMichelle Fischbach
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 46A district
In office
November 9, 2015 – January 7, 2019
Preceded byRyan Winkler
Succeeded byRyan Winkler
Personal details
Born (1979-09-22) September 22, 1979 (age 41)
Political partyDemocratic
Tom Weber
(m. 2019)
EducationUniversity of Minnesota (BA)
WebsiteGovernment website

Peggy Flanagan (born September 22, 1979) is an American politician serving as the 50th lieutenant governor of Minnesota. She was elected lieutenant governor on November 6, 2018, and is the second Native American woman to be elected to statewide executive office in U.S. history. A member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL), Flanagan represented District 46A in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2015 to 2019. Prior to her tenure in the House, she served on the Minneapolis Board of Education from 2005 to 2009. Flanagan is a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe.

On July 28, 2016, Flanagan became the first Native American woman to address the Democratic National Convention (or any convention of a major American political party) from the podium.

Early life and education[edit]

The daughter of American Indian land rights and sovereignty activist Marvin Manypenny, Flanagan was raised by a single mother, a phlebotomist, in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis.[1] She is a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe.[2] Flanagan received a bachelor's degree in child psychology and American Indian Studies from the University of Minnesota in 2002.[3][4]


Early career[edit]

While in college, Flanagan worked for the campaign of Democratic U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone, eventually becoming an organizer for the urban Native American community.[1] After college, she worked for the Council of Churches, doing outreach work between Native American families and the Minneapolis public school system.[1]

In her first run for elective office, Flanagan won a seat on the Minneapolis Board of Education in 2004.[5] In a six-candidate field that featured two incumbents, the political newcomer Flanagan garnered the most votes.[6] She was elected along with Lydia Lee and incumbent Sharon Henry-Blythe and served one term on the board, from 2005 to 2009.[2] In 2008, she challenged State Representative Joe Mullery in the Democratic primary, but dropped out of the race due to her mother's health problems.[1] After working in a handful of other jobs, Flanagan joined Wellstone Action as a trainer of activists, organizers, and candidates.[1] Flanagan also advocated for the successful 2014 effort to raise Minnesota's minimum wage.[1]

Minnesota House of Representatives[edit]

Flanagan was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives unopposed in a special election on November 3, 2015, and was sworn-in on November 9, 2015.[7] Susan Allen (Rosebud) and Republican Steve Green (White Earth Ojibwe) were the only other Natives in the Minnesota State House at that time.

Three other Native women sought election to the Minnesota state legislature in November 2016: Mary Kelly Kunesh-Podein (Standing Rock Lakota) and Jamie Becker-Finn (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe) ran for state representative seats and Chilah Brown (Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe) ran for the Minnesota Senate. Kunesh-Podein and Beck-Finn were elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives and assumed office in January 2017.

In 2017, Flanagan, Allen, Kunesh-Podein and Beck-Finn formed the Minnesota House Native American Caucus to represent issues of both urban and rural Native Americans and their other constituents in the legislature.[8]

2016 Democratic National Convention[edit]

Flanagan was invited to address the 2016 Democratic National Convention, speaking from the podium on July 28, 2016. She was the first Native American woman to address the DNC (or any convention of a major American political party).[8]

Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota[edit]


In 2017, she became a candidate for lieutenant governor, joining Congressman Tim Walz as their ticket won the DFL primary in the 2018 Minnesota gubernatorial election.[9] In the general election, the pair defeated the Republican ticket of Jeff Johnson and Donna Bergstrom. With their victory, she became the first racial minority woman elected to statewide office in Minnesota as well as the second Native American woman elected to statewide executive office in the United States, after Denise Juneau.[10][11]

Personal life[edit]

Flanagan has one daughter with her former husband, whom she divorced in 2017. Flanagan resides in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.[12] On January 12, 2018, Flanagan revealed on her personal Facebook page that she was in a relationship with the Minnesota Public Radio News host Tom Weber; MPR News announced that day that it was reassigning Weber and that he would no longer cover "the governor’s race, the Legislature, potential legislation, public policy involving the executive or legislative branches or any topic related to the November 2018 election."[13] Flanagan married Weber in September 2019.[14] On March 22, 2020, Flanagan revealed on her Instagram account that her brother Ron, who lived in Tennessee, died of a COVID-19 related illness, stating “To many, he’ll be a statistic: Tennessee’s second COVID-related death. But to me, I’ll remember a loving, older brother, uncle, father, and husband.”[15][16]

Electoral history[edit]

2018 Minnesota Governor Election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jeff Johnson and Donna Bergstrom 1,097,682 42.43% -2.08%
Democratic Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan 1,393,008 53.84% +3.77%
Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis (US) Chris Wright and Judith Schwartzbacker 68,664 2.65% n/a
Libertarian Josh Welter and Mary O'Connor 26,736 1.03% n/a
Write-In 26,736 1.03% n/a
Majority 295,326 11.41%
2016 Minnesota State Representative District 46A Election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Anne Taylor 8,525 35.84%
Democratic Peggy Flanagan 15,187 63.85%
[[|N/A]] Write-In 72 0.30%
Majority 6,662 28.01%
Nov. 3, 2015 Minnesota State Representative District 46A Special Election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Peggy Flanagan 3,137 96.40%
[[|N/A]] Write-In 117 3.60%
2004 Minneapolis School Board Election (elect 3)
Party Candidate Votes %
Non-Partisan Peggy Flanagan 71,907 23.72%
Non-Partisan Lydia Lee 68,694 22.66%
Non-Partisan Sharon Henry-Blythe (i) 44,759 14.76%
Non-Partisan Dennis Shapiro (i) 42,739 14.10%
Non-Partisan Sandra Miller 42,638 14.06%
Non-Partisan David Dayhoff 30,367 10.02%
Write-in 2,094 0.69%


  1. ^ a b c d e f Bierschbach, Briana (November 4, 2015). "The unopposed: Meet Minnesota's newest House member". MinnPost. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Lopez, Ricardo (July 18, 2015). "Progressive activist Peggy Flanagan running unopposed for Minnesota House". Star Tribune. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  3. ^ "Representative Peggy Flanagan (DFL) District: 46A". Minnesota House of Representatives. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  4. ^ "Meet St. Louis Park Rep. Peggy Flanagan | City South". Community Life Magazine.
  5. ^ "School Board: Lee, Flanagan, Henry-Blythe". November 11, 2004. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  6. ^ "November 2, 2004 General Election".
  7. ^ Montgomery, David H. (November 9, 2015). "Flanagan sworn in as newest Minnesota lawmaker". Saint Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  8. ^ a b Suzette Brewer, "Peggy Flanagan, White Earth, Addresses DNC", Indian Country Today, July 28, 2016; accessed July 31, 2016
  9. ^ Bakst, Brian (October 5, 2017). "Capitol View: Walz picks state legislator as running mate". Minnesota Public Radio.
  10. ^ 47m47 minutes ago (February 5, 2009). "Torey Van Oot on Twitter: "Some powerful words on the significance of some of last night's "firsts," via MN Lt. Gov-elect @peggyflanagan. She's the 1st woman of color elected to statewide office in MN & 2nd Native American woman women elected to statewide executive office nationwide, per @GenderWatch2018". Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  11. ^ Taylor, Rory. "Lieutenant Governor-Elect of Minnesota Peggy Flanagan Becomes the Highest-Ranking Native Woman Elected to Executive Office in the United States". Teen Vogue. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  12. ^ "MPR's Tom Weber reassigned because of romantic relationship with Rep. Peggy Flanagan". Star Tribune. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  13. ^ Staff, MPR News. "A note from MPR News". Capitol View. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  14. ^ "Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan marries former MPR reporter Tom Weber". Star Tribune.
  15. ^ "Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan's brother dies of COVID-19. 'THIS is why we must #StayHome'". March 23, 2020. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
  16. ^ "Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan's brother dies of COVID-19". Star Tribune. Retrieved March 25, 2020.

External links[edit]

Minnesota House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ryan Winkler
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 46A district

Succeeded by
Ryan Winkler
Political offices
Preceded by
Michelle Fischbach
Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota