Meet Attorney General Candidate Tom Foley
Growing up in Wabasha, Rochester, Austin and Albert Lea, my Minnesota roots and values run deep. I learned at an early age to answer the call to lead and serve from my mother and the nuns of St. Felix High who helped form my Catholic faith, from my dad, who served as American Legion National Commander and a Minnesota judge, and from my grandpa, who served as Wabasha County Attorney.
Following their lead to live a life of service to others, I attended the University of Minnesota as both an undergrad and law student, and then dedicated my legal career to serving Minnesotans of all walks of life, particularly those in most need of public safety and protection.
In my four terms as the Ramsey County Attorney, and also in my time as the Washington County Attorney, two of the largest counties in Minnesota, I started and championed innovative law enforcement programs that were later modeled statewide by other prosecutors.
These initiatives included prosecuting clergy abuse, and instituting victim’s rights programs, along with one of the first family violence specialized prosecution units in the United States. In 1991, my efforts to confront racial discrimination and promote civil rights in Saint Paul led me to arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court in one of the first hate crime cases ever decided by the court. During this time, I was an active member of the Governor’s Select Committee on the Impact of Drugs on Crime, Education, and Social Welfare and on the Minnesota Attorney General’s Task Force on Prevention of Violence Against Women. I also held many state and national law enforcement leadership positions during this time, including serving as the President of the Minnesota County Attorneys Association.
Before my time as Ramsey County Attorney, I started my public service by prosecuting felony murder trials as a lawyer in the criminal division of the Attorney General’s office. I then served as the Deputy Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Corrections under Gov. Perpich. Later, I served many years on the Metropolitan Airports Commission and, under Gov. Jesse Ventura, represented the State of Minnesota before Congress and federal agencies as the Director of the Governor’s Office in Washington DC.
I have worked to advance the public good in other areas too – including serving for many years as the President of the Democratic Leadership Council, a board member of the Salvation Army, and Chairman of the Minnesota Elected Officials for Soviet Jewry.
My vast experience and my proven track record of independent, effective leadership in public service means I won’t need on-the-job training before getting to work as the lawyer for all Minnesotans as your next Attorney General.
On the home front, I spend a lot of time with my wife Jana, sons Jordan and Mitchell, our six delightful grandkids, and our two dogs.
Your key platforms:
What’s one thing you want the Rochester community to know about you?
I was raised in Wabasha, Rochester, Austin and Albert Lea. My father Dan Foley was a District Court Judge in Rochester.