Peggy Flanagan (born September 22, 1979) is the 50th and current lieutenant governor of Minnesota. Her election on November 6, 2018, made her the second Native American woman to ever be elected to statewide executive office in U.S. history. She served as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2015 to 2019. A member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL), she represented District 46A in the western Twin Cities metropolitan area. A member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe she joined fellow DFLer Susan Allen, (Rosebud Sioux) and Republican Steve Green, an enrolled member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe as the only other Natives in the Minnesota State House.
|50th Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota|
|Assumed office |
January 7, 2019
|Preceded by||Michelle Fischbach|
|Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives|
from the 46A district
November 9, 2015 – January 7, 2019
|Preceded by||Ryan Winkler|
|Succeeded by||Ryan Winkler|
|Born||September 22, 1979|
|Education||University of Minnesota (BA)|
Flanagan has worked on issues relating to education and political organizing for urban Native Americans in Minneapolis, Minnesota, through the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches. Elected to the city's School Board, she served from 2005 to 2009.
Early life, education, and careerEdit
Flanagan was raised by a single mother in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, just west of Minneapolis. Flanagan attended local schools and received a bachelor's degree in child psychology from the University of Minnesota in 2002.
While in college, Flanagan worked for the campaign of Democratic US Senator Paul Wellstone, eventually becoming an organizer for the urban Native American community. After college, she worked for the Council of Churches, doing outreach work between Native American families and the Minneapolis public school system.
In her first run for elective office, Flanagan won a seat on the Minneapolis Board of Education in 2004. In a six-candidate field that featured two incumbents, the political newcomer Flanagan garnered the most votes. She was elected along with Lydia Lee and incumbent Sharon Henry-Blythe and served one term on the board, from 2005 to 2009. 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. After working in a handful of other jobs, Flanagan joined Wellstone Action as a trainer of activists, organizers, and candidates. Flanagan also advocated for the successful 2014 effort to raise Minnesota's minimum wage.
Minnesota House of RepresentativesEdit
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. 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.
2016 Democratic National ConventionEdit
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 as an official speaker.
Lieutenant Governor of MinnesotaEdit
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. They won the general election; thus 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. Flanagan was given a leading part in setting up the Walz administration.
Flanagan has one daughter with her former husband, whom she divorced in 2017. Flanagan resides in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. 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.". Flanagan married Weber in September, 2019.
|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|
|Non-Partisan||Sharon Henry-Blythe (i)||44,759||14.76%|
|Non-Partisan||Dennis Shapiro (i)||42,739||14.10%|
- Lopez, Ricardo (July 18, 2015). "Progressive activist Peggy Flanagan running unopposed for Minnesota House". Star Tribune. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
- Suzette Brewer, "Peggy Flanagan, White Earth, Addresses DNC", Indian Country Today, 28 July 2016; accessed 31 July 2016
- Bierschbach, Briana (4 November 2015). "The unopposed: Meet Minnesota's newest House member". MinnPost. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
- "Representative Peggy Flanagan (DFL) District: 46A". Minnesota House of Representatives. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
- "School Board: Lee, Flanagan, Henry-Blythe". November 11, 2004. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
- "November 2, 2004 General Election".
- Montgomery, David H. (9 November 2015). "Flanagan sworn in as newest Minnesota lawmaker". Saint Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
- Bakst, Brian (October 5, 2017). "Capitol View: Walz picks state legislator as running mate". Minnesota Public Radio.
- 47m47 minutes ago (2009-02-05). "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". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
- 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 19 July 2019.
- Van Berkel, Jessie (November 16, 2018). "Peggy Flanagan, lieutenant governor to be, takes lead role in Tim Walz transition". Star Tribune. Minneapolis.
Flanagan's first priority is creating a board that will influence hiring and budget development.
- "MPR's Tom Weber reassigned because of romantic relationship with Rep. Peggy Flanagan". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
- Staff, MPR News. "A note from MPR News". Capitol View. Retrieved 2018-01-22.