John Marty

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This article is about the State Senator from Minnesota. For the singer known as John Marty, see Marty Stuart.
John Marty
Member of the Minnesota Senate
from the 66th district
54th (1993–2013), 63rd (1987–1993)
Assumed office
January 6, 1987
Preceded by Neil Dieterich
Personal details
Born (1956-11-01) November 1, 1956 (age 61)
Evanston, Illinois, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Connie Jaarsma
Alma mater St. Olaf College
Religion Lutheranism

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 was unsuccessful in the general election. 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 the northern portion of Saint Paul along with the communities of Roseville, Lauderdale and Falcon Heights

Early life, education and career

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. Additionally, from 1993 to 1996 he served on the board of Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota, a local non-profit organization.[2][3]

Political career

State legislator: 1987–present

On November 4, 1986, Marty was elected as the State Senator from Senate District 63 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 for 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

In 1994 Marty sought to unseat incumbent Republican Governor Arne Carlson. He was the endorsed nominee of the DFL party and won the DFL Primary, coming in 2% ahead of former state commerce commissioner and future Attorney General Mike Hatch. The other contenders were former Minneapolis Police Chief Tony Bouza and Richard T. Van Bergen. His 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. The majority of his campaign funds spent on the close DFL Primary, he lost to Governor Arne Carlson by nearly a two-to-one margin.

Four years later he was one of seven DFLers who entered the campaign, but he dropped out of the race without filing for office. Eventually the party settled on state Attorney General Hubert H. "Skip" Humphrey III. However, in an upset, the Reform Party candidate and former wrestler Jesse Ventura won the election.

2010 gubernatorial campaign

John Marty campaigning for governor

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

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

On March 31, 2010, Marty announced that state senator Patricia Torres Ray is his running mate for lieutenant governor.[8]

On April 24, 2010, Marty withdrew from the race at the DFL state convention, after it became clear he could not win party endorsement. Marty ultimately threw his support behind the party's nominee, House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher.[1]

Support for other politicians

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% percent 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

Marty is best known to Minnesota residents as an advocate on environmental issues, health care reform, and government ethics and campaign finance reform. Recently he has been known primarily for his authorship of the Minnesota Health Plan.[9] As part of his position on campaign finance and ethics, he does not accept soft money contributions or contributions from lobbyists, and he sharply limits the amount of 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, outspoken in his criticism of recent proposals for new stadiums for the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings.[11] He also is a supporter for the use of medical marijuana, and even made an appearance in the movie Super High Me.

Family and personal life

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

Electoral history

  • 2012 election for Minnesota Senate – District 66[12]
    • John Marty (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) 27,735 (73.82%)
    • Wayde Brooks (Republican) 9,718 votes (25.87%)
  • 2010 election for Minnesota Senate – District 54[13]
    • 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[14]
    • John Marty (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) 21,609 (56.86%)
    • Mark Zasadny (Republican) 16,359 votes (43.04%)
  • 2000 election for Minnesota Senate – District 54[15]
    • 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. 1.0 1.1 DFL endorses House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher for governor
  2. "About us". Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota.  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. 5.0 5.1 "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.  Retrieved on 2009-01-31.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "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 All State Senate Races, 2012". Minnesota Secretary of State. Retrieved December 22, 2012. 
  13. "Election Reporting: State Senate District 54". Minnesota Secretary of State.  Retrieved on 2010-11-05.
  14. "Election Reporting: State Senate District 54". Minnesota Secretary of State.  Retrieved on 2007-01-03.
  15. "Election Reporting: State Senate District 54". Minnesota Secretary of State.  Retrieved on 2007-01-03.

External links

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