Thomas M. "Tom" Bakk (born June 8, 1954) is a Minnesota politician and member of the Minnesota Senate. A member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party, Bakk represents District 3, which includes portions of Cook, Koochiching, Lake and St. Louis counties in the northeastern part of Minnesota. He has served in the Minnesota legislature since 1995 and is a former majority leader and minority leader.[1]

Tom Bakk
TomBakk cropped.JPG
Minority Leader of the Minnesota Senate
In office
January 3, 2017 – February 1, 2020
Preceded byDavid Hann
Succeeded bySusan Kent
In office
January 4, 2011 – January 7, 2013
Preceded byDave Senjem
Succeeded byDavid Hann
Majority Leader of the Minnesota Senate
In office
January 8, 2013 – January 2, 2017
Preceded byDave Senjem
Succeeded byPaul Gazelka
Member of the Minnesota Senate
from the 3rd district
6th (2003–2013)
Assumed office
January 7, 2003
Preceded byDouglas Johnson
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 6A district
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 6, 2003
Preceded byDavid Peter Battaglia
Succeeded byDavid Dill
Personal details
Born (1954-06-08) June 8, 1954 (age 65)
Virginia, Minnesota, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Laura
Children4
EducationMesabi Range College
University of Minnesota, Duluth (BA)

Early life, education, and careerEdit

Bakk was born and raised in Cook, Minnesota, where he graduated from Cook High School in 1972.[2] He received an associate degree from Mesabi Community College and a bachelor's degree in business administration and labor relations from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He is a retired union carpenter and labor official.[3]

Political careerEdit

Minnesota House of RepresentativesEdit

Bakk represented District 6A in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003.[3]

Minnesota SenateEdit

Bakk was first elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2002 and was re-elected in 2006, 2010, 2012, and 2016.[3] After the 2010 election, in which Republicans gained control of the Senate for the first time since party designation, Bakk was elected by his caucus to serve as its first-ever minority leader.[4] After the DFL regained a majority in the 2012 election, Bakk was elected by his caucus to serve as majority leader, a position he assumed when the legislature convened on January 8, 2013.[5] Bakk was again elected by his caucus to serve as minority leader following the 2016 election, which saw Republicans re-gain control of the upper chamber.[6]

In late 2019, it was reported that Susan Kent, a state senator from Woodbury, intended to challenge Bakk for his caucus leadership post.[7] On February 1, 2020, in a caucus meeting that lasted more than six hours, Kent defeated Bakk, succeeding him as minority leader.[8]


2010 Minnesota gubernatorial campaignEdit

 
Bakk at a DFL gubernatorial debate in November 2009

Bakk campaigned in the 2010 Minnesota gubernatorial election. He led in early fundraising among the DFL candidates, raising $146,000 in 2008, and beginning 2009 with a little more than $131,000. He ended his campaign in March 2010.[9]

Electoral historyEdit

Minnesota Senate 3rd district election, 2012[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic–Farmer–Labor Tom Bakk (incumbent) 28,427 64.59
Republican Jennifer Havlick 15,509 35.24
Minnesota Senate 6th district election, 2010[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic–Farmer–Labor Tom Bakk (incumbent) 21,728 62.94 -8.39pp
Republican Jennifer Havlick 12,742 36.91 +8.50pp
Minnesota Senate 6th district election, 2006[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic–Farmer–Labor Tom Bakk (incumbent) 25,275 71.33 -0.93pp
Republican Jennifer Havlick 10,065 28.41
Minnesota Senate 6th district election, 2002[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic–Farmer–Labor Tom Bakk 24,934 72.26
Independence Tom Norman 9,467 27.44

Personal lifeEdit

Bakk and his wife, Laura, who works as a legislative assistant in the Minnesota Senate, have four children.[3]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "DFL leader Tom Bakk faces leadership challenge from fellow Senate Democrat". Star Tribune. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  2. ^ "Tom Bakk has always been a builder – from houses to union deals to laws". Twin Cities. May 1, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d "Bakk, Thomas M. "Tom"". Legislators Past & Present. Minnesota Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  4. ^ Shaw, Charley (November 4, 2010). "Tom Bakk elected Senate minority leader". Politics in Minnesota. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  5. ^ "Bakk chosen as Minnesota Senate majority leader". Duluth News Tribune. November 8, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  6. ^ "Bakk to serve as DFL Senate Minority Leader". Mesabi Daily News. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  7. ^ Van Oot, Torey. "DFL leader Tom Bakk faces leadership challenge from fellow Senate Democrat". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  8. ^ Bierschbach, Briana. "Susan Kent ousts Tom Bakk as Senate DFL leader". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  9. ^ Scheck, Tom (March 20, 2010). "Sen. Bakk drops out of race for governor". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved July 20, 2010.
  10. ^ "Results for State Senator District 3". Minnesota Secretary of State. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  11. ^ "State Senator District: 06". Minnesota Secretary of State. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  12. ^ "State Senator District 06". Minnesota Secretary of State. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  13. ^ "State Senator District 06". Minnesota Secretary of State. Retrieved January 25, 2013.

External linksEdit

Minnesota House of Representatives
Preceded by
David Peter Battaglia
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 6A district

1995–2003
Succeeded by
David Dill
Preceded by
Douglas Johnson
Member of the Minnesota Senate
from the 3rd district
6th (2003–2013)

2003–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Dave Senjem
Minority Leader of the Minnesota Senate
2011–2013
Succeeded by
David Hann
Majority Leader of the Minnesota Senate
2013–2017
Succeeded by
Paul Gazelka
Preceded by
David Hann
Minority Leader of the Minnesota Senate
2017–present
Incumbent