John Marty

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John Marty
Rally to demand Donald Trump release his tax returns (34058697425) (John Marty).jpg
Member of the Minnesota Senate
from the 66th district
54th (1993–2013), 63rd (1987–1993)
Assumed office
January 6, 1987
Preceded byNeil Dieterich
Personal details
Born (1956-11-01) November 1, 1956 (age 62)
Evanston, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Connie Jaarsma
Alma materSt. Olaf College

John J. Marty (born November 1, 1956) is a member of the Minnesota Senate, representing District 66, which includes portions of Ramsey County in the northern Twin Cities metropolitan area. As a young state senator, he ran for Governor of Minnesota in 1994. He won the DFL party nomination and the Democratic primary but lost the general election to the incumbent governor, Arne Carlson. He ran for governor again in 2010, but withdrew from the race after failing to win his party's endorsement.[1]

As senator, Marty represents Roseville, Lauderdale, Falcon Heights, and northern St. Paul.

Early life, education and career[edit]

Marty in 2011

John Marty was born in Evanston, Illinois, on November 1, 1956. He is the son of author and theologian Martin E. Marty. He attended St. Olaf College and graduated with a BA in Ethics in 1978. In 1979 and 1980 he worked in the DFL Party as a campaign aide and communications director. He became an administrator and researcher for the Criminal Justice Committee of the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1980, before working as a grant administrator at the Lutheran Brotherhood Foundation for two years beginning in 1985. After his election to the Minnesota Senate in 1986, he became a member of the board of directors of the National Youth Leadership Council. From 1993 to 1996 he served on the board of Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota, a local nonprofit organization.[2][3]

Political career[edit]

State legislator: 1987–present[edit]

Marty was elected state senator from District 63 on November 4, 1986, and sworn in on January 6, 1987, for the 75th legislative session.[4] The 1992 legislative redistricting, in conjunction with the U.S. Census, changed Marty's Senate district from 63 to 54.

On November 7, 2006, Marty was reelected to a sixth term, winning 62.05% of the vote and carrying each of the seven suburbs in his district.[5]

The 2012 legislative redistricting changed Marty's Senate District from 54 to 66.

1994 gubernatorial campaign[edit]

In 1994 Marty sought to unseat incumbent Republican Governor Arne Carlson. He was the DFL party's endorsed nominee and won its primary by two percentage points over former state commerce commissioner and future Attorney General Mike Hatch (the other candidates were Richard T. Van Bergen and former Minneapolis Police Chief Tony Bouza.) Marty's self-imposed campaign finance limits, feasible in his small state senate reelection campaigns, severely handicapped his ability to reach as far as his opponent statewide. After spending most of his campaign funds on the primary, he lost to Carlson by a nearly two-to-one margin.

Marty was one of seven DFLers who entered the 1998 gubernatorial campaign, but he dropped out of the race without filing for office. Eventually the party nominated state Attorney General Hubert H. "Skip" Humphrey III. In an upset, the Reform Party nominee, former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura, won the election.

2010 gubernatorial campaign[edit]

John Marty campaigning for governor

On December 22, 2008, Marty announced that he had launched an exploratory campaign for governor after encouragement from health care reformers.[6] He made a formal announcement several months later.

On February 2, 2010, Marty finished in fourth place in a precinct caucus straw poll with 9.5% of the vote, behind Minneapolis mayor R. T. Rybak and Speaker of the Minnesota House Margaret Anderson Kelliher, who each received more than 20%. Uncommitted voters came in third, with approximately 14.7%.[7]

On March 31, 2010, Marty announced state senator Patricia Torres Ray as his running mate.[8]

On April 24, 2010, Marty withdrew from the race at the DFL state convention, after it became clear he could not win the party endorsement. Marty gave his support to Kelliher, the party's nominee.[1]

Support for other politicians[edit]

When the national Democratic Party was picking their 2004 presidential nominee, Marty joined State Senate Majority Leader John Hottinger in endorsing Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio. On Super Tuesday, Kucinich received 17% of the vote in Minnesota's presidential caucus, one of his best showings that year. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Marty was a strong supporter of Barack Obama.

Political positions[edit]

Marty is best known to Minnesota residents as an advocate on environmental issues, health-care reform, and government ethics and campaign-finance reform. He is also known for his authorship of the Minnesota Health Plan.[9] Marty does not accept soft money contributions or contributions from lobbyists, and he sharply limits the contributions he will accept from any one person.[10] Among Marty's ethics legislation was the Minnesota law banning lobbyists from giving gifts to public officials.[10] Marty opposes the public funding of stadiums and professional sports teams and was outspoken in his criticism of proposals for new stadiums for the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings.[11] He also is a supporter of medical marijuana, and even made an appearance in the movie Super High Me.

Family and personal life[edit]

John Marty is married to Connie Marty (née Jaarsma). They live in Roseville, Minnesota, and have two children, Elsa and Micah.

Electoral history[edit]

  • 2016 election for Minnesota Senate – District 66[12]
    • John Marty (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) 28,312 (74.34%)
    • Carolyn Jass (Republican) 9,670 votes (25.39%)
  • 2012 election for Minnesota Senate – District 66[13]
    • John Marty (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) 27,735 (73.82%)
    • Wayde Brooks (Republican) 9,718 votes (25.87%)
  • 2010 election for Minnesota Senate – District 54[14]
    • John Marty (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) 18,600 (56.52%)
    • Tim Johnson (Republican) 14,277 votes (43.38%)
  • 2006 election for Minnesota Senate – District 54[5]
    • John Marty (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) 21,847 (62.05%)
    • Dan Williams (Republican) 13,328 votes (37.86%)
  • 2002 election for Minnesota Senate – District 54[15]
    • John Marty (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) 21,609 (56.86%)
    • Mark Zasadny (Republican) 16,359 votes (43.04%)
  • 2000 election for Minnesota Senate – District 54[16]
    • John Marty (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) 23,614 (65.50%)
    • Mark Zasadny (Republican) 12,440 votes (34.50%)
  • 1994 election for Minnesota Governor
  • 1994 election for Minnesota Governor – DFL Primary
  • 1992 election for Minnesota Senate – District 54
    • John Marty (DFL), 56%
    • Pat Igo (R), 44%
  • 1990 election for Minnesota Senate – District 63
    • John Marty (DFL), 64%
    • Merlyn Scroggins (R), 36%


  1. ^ a b DFL endorses House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher for governor
  2. ^ "About us". Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota. Archived from the original on December 18, 2008. Retrieved on 2009-01-31.
  3. ^ "Senator John Marty – Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on 2009-01-31.
  4. ^ "Minnesota Legislators Past & Present – Marty, John J." Minnesota Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved on 2009-01-31.
  5. ^ a b "Election Reporting: State Senate District 54". Minnesota Secretary of State. Retrieved on 2007-01-03.
  6. ^ "Press". Minnesotans for Marty exploratory campaign. Retrieved on 2009-01-31.
  7. ^ "Election Reporting". Minnesota Secretary of State. Retrieved on 2010-02-04.
  8. ^ "Marty picks running mate: state Sen. Patricia Torres Ray". MinnPost. March 31, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
  9. ^ "The Co-authors". Campaign for the Minnesota Health Plan. Archived from the original on December 3, 2008. Retrieved on 2009-01-31.
  10. ^ a b "Sen. John Marty for Governor". Minnesotans for Marty exploratory campaign. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  11. ^ "Twins' Stadium Opponents Were Tired of the Fight; Supporters Weren't". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved on 2007-01-07.
  12. ^ "Results for State Senator District 66". Minnesota Secretary of State. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  13. ^ "Results for All State Senate Races, 2012". Minnesota Secretary of State. Archived from the original on November 10, 2012. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
  14. ^ "Election Reporting: State Senate District 54". Minnesota Secretary of State. Archived from the original on March 13, 2012. Retrieved on 2010-11-05.
  15. ^ "Election Reporting: State Senate District 54". Minnesota Secretary of State. Archived from the original on November 30, 2004. Retrieved on 2007-01-03.
  16. ^ "Election Reporting: State Senate District 54". Minnesota Secretary of State. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved on 2007-01-03.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Rudy Perpich
Democratic nominee for Governor of Minnesota
Succeeded by
Skip Humphrey