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Jim Meffert (born 1967) is an American politician and a Senior Consultant at Tecker International, LLC. He was the former Executive Director of Jefferson Action and the Jefferson Center. Before that, he served as the Executive Director of the Minnesota Optometric Association and president of the Minnesota Parent-Teacher Association. He previously worked for the American Medical Association and the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. Meffert lives in Edina[2] and was the Democratic nominee for Minnesota's 3rd congressional district in 2010.

Jim Meffert
Jim Meffert 2010 (cropped).jpg
Personal details
Born1967 (age 51–52)
Marshall, Minnesota
ResidenceEdina, Minnesota[1]
Alma materSt. Olaf College
ProfessionSenior Consultant at Tecker International, LLS


Meffert was born and raised in Marshall, Minnesota.[3] His father was a teacher and his mother worked at an accounting firm.[4]

After graduating from Marshall Senior High School in 1985, Meffert earned his Bachelor of Arts at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota where he was president of the College Republicans.[5] He majored in political science, and also played percussion in the St. Olaf Band and Jazz Band. That is where he met his future wife, Karrin, who played clarinet. Karrin and Meffert married in 1991. In 1992, they moved to Chicago so Karrin could attend graduate school at Northwestern University.[6]

In Chicago, Meffert worked for the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons on such issues as coverage for reconstruction after mastectomy and cleft lip and palate repair. He also worked to ensure that access to burn care and reconstructive surgery was included in the Clinton Health Plan proposals. Meffert later went on to work at the American Medical Association.[3]

Meffert and his wife returned to Edina, Minnesota to raise their three children. Alex, Noah, and Katy all attend Edina Public Schools. Both Meffert and his wife served as Co-Presidents of the Parent Teacher Association at their children's elementary school and he then served on the Minnesota State PTA board, where he served as president.[7] Meffert has also chaired the Minnesota Children's Platform Coalition, a statewide network of child advocacy and related organizations. He served on the P-20 Partnership for Education and the Steering Committee for the "Rethinking Public Education" project by the Growth & Justice Foundation.[8][unreliable source?]

From 1998 to 2010, Meffert worked full-time as the executive director of the Minnesota Optometric Association.[9]

In January 2012, Meffert was named the executive director of Jefferson Action and the Jefferson Center for New Democratic Processes.[10] Meffert is no longer with Jefferson Action or the Jefferson Center for New Democratic Processes.

2010 ElectionEdit

On December 1, 2009, Meffert entered the campaign to challenge Representative Erik Paulsen in Minnesota's 3rd congressional district.[11] Meffert won the DFL endorsement in April 2010, edging out forensic psychiatrist Maureen Hackett.[12]

Though Meffert was unable to afford television advertising, he gained some name recognition through television attack ads from the Paulsen campaign.[13][14][15] Political analyst Dave Schultz said that "Given how little money that Meffert has, you would've thought Paulsen would've just ignored Meffert completely and just run a positive campaign." Meffert responded to the attack, saying "It's the kind of thing that makes people cynical about politics and politicians. When you hide behind a big bank account and you throw up an ad that's designed to tear down your opponent."[16] After the Paulsen campaign included a misleading graph in a mailing, Meffert filed an ethics complaint against Paulsen.[17][18]

Paulsen defeated Meffert by a 59% to 37% margin.[19]


  1. ^ Scheck, Tom (October 12, 2009). "Meffert considers a run in the 3rd". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  2. ^ Scheck, Tom. Meffert considers a run in the 3rd. Minnesota Public Radio News. 12 October 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Jim Meffert, Fellow for Community Stability". Minnesota 2020. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  4. ^ "Meffert, Jim". Our Campaigns. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  5. ^ Birkey, Andy (September 14, 2010). "Some pundits eye Paulsen/Meffert race as potential DFL pickup". Minnesota Independent.
  6. ^ "Faculty: Karrin Meffert-Nelson". Gustavus Adolphus College. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  7. ^ Cadei, Emily (February 2, 2010). "Paulsen Has a Leg Up for Re-Election". CQ Politics. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  8. ^ Smith, Sue (March 14, 2010). "Minnesota's Third Congressional District: Jim Meffert and Maureen Hackett". Yahoo. Archived from the original on July 20, 2012.
  9. ^ Cadei, Emily (November 10, 2009). "Minnesota: Meffert Latest Democrat to Take On Paulsen". Roll Call.
  10. ^ "Jim Meffert Joins Jefferson Center as Executive Director" (PDF). Jefferson Center for New Democratic Processes. January 6, 2012.
  11. ^ Black, Eric. Jim Meffert officially enters Third CD race to challenge Erik Paulsen. Minn Post. 1 December 2009.
  12. ^ Grow, Doug. 3rd District Democrat Jim Meffert says he's ready for his steep uphill run against Rep. Erik Paulsen. Minn Post. 16 April 2010.
  13. ^ Roper, Eric (September 27, 2010). "Paulsen launches TV offensive against Meffert". Star Tribune.
  14. ^ "Paulsen hits Meffert with second ad". Star Tribune. October 8, 2010.
  15. ^ Pugmire, Tim (October 13, 2010). "Negative ads bring attention to 3rd District race". Minnesota Public Radio.
  16. ^ Croman, John (October 5, 2010). "Ad shines light on 3rd District Congressional race". KARE 11. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  17. ^ Wallbank, Derek (September 21, 2010). "Meffert files ethics complaint against Paulsen". Minn Post.
  18. ^ "Meffert campaign files complaint over Paulsen mailer". KARE 11. September 22, 2010.
  19. ^ "Minnesota District 3". National Journal. July 1, 2011.