Meet MN Governor and Lt. Governor Candidates Jeff Johnson and Donna Bergstrom
Jeff was born and raised in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota by wonderful, hard-working parents. His father still calls Detroit Lakes home, as does his sister and her family. Jeff graduated from Detroit Lakes High School in 1985, Concordia College in Moorhead in 1989 and Georgetown Law School in 1992.
Jeff met the love of his life, Sondi, at Concordia and they have been married for 24 years. They have two boys, Thor (19) and Rolf (15), and they reside in Plymouth with their bulldog Chester (7).
After graduating from Georgetown, Jeff worked for firms in Chicago and Minneapolis before starting at Cargill, Inc. where he handled employment and labor law matters. In 2001, he left Cargill and started his own small business, Midwest Employment Resources, which provides human resources training and workplace investigations.
From 2000 to 2006 Jeff served in the Minnesota House of Representatives, where he was elected Assistant Majority Leader by his colleagues. In the House, he fought for conservative principles and was the chief sponsor of several successful bills to limit government power, cut taxes, and combat the methamphetamine epidemic that was gripping the state.
In 2011, Jeff was elected by Republicans in Minnesota to represent them at the Republican National Committee. In 2014 he was Minnesota’s Republican nominee for Governor. While falling just short of defeating incumbent Governor Mark Dayton, he raised more money than Dayton in 2014 and won independent voters by 10%.
As a firm believer in term limits, Jeff is currently serving his final term as a Hennepin County Commissioner. Hennepin County is one of the largest counties in the country and Jeff is one of seven commissioners who oversee a nearly $2 billion annual budget. As the most conservative voice on the board, he is sometimes in a minority of one and is always engaged in the fight for fiscal sanity and responsibility, increased government accountability and requiring that county programs actually produce measurable results.
Lieutenant Governor Bio:
Donna is a Minnesotan through and through and has led a unique life marked by accomplishments and service to our country. She was born in 1963 to LeRoy and Carol (Lussier) Bergstrom, the fifth of seven children, Donna graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a BA in Political Science in 1985.
Despite being the fifth sibling, she was the first in her family to graduate from college, and did so on time. Donna joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve*, earning a commission through the Officer Candidate School. She went on to serve over 20 years as an Intelligence Officer handling some of our nation’s most sensitive secrets before retiring in 2010 at the grade of Lieutenant Colonel.
Donna brings a broad and diverse background, with life experience that shows dedication and commitment to public service. She is a committed, small-government conservative who draws on her military and civilian careers to bring a unique perspective to the political process. She recently worked as a Guardian ad Litem in the 6th Judicial District for the State of Minnesota helping children who would otherwise not have a voice in court.
Currently, Donna is in the process of obtaining her Minnesota teaching license. She also holds a Master of Jurisprudence Degree from Loyola University-Chicago School of Law in Children’s Law and Policy. She is a member of the Red Lake Nation where her mother was born and raised and lives in Duluth with her husband and son.
Your key platforms:
Government Reform -- The recent large scale failures in our state government are the result of a fundamentally broken system. I will bring generational reform to how we do things in St. Paul and we will take power from government and return it to the people of Minnesota. This includes not signing unconstitutional "garbage" omnibus bills, introducing pay for performance and passing term limits on the governor and legislature. Read more here: http://www.johnsonforgovernor.org/actionplan_govreform
Taxes & Spending -- We are taxing to death not just the "rich" in Minnesota, but the bartender, the school teacher, the mechanic and everyone else. Here is my full and detailed plan of how we will cut both taxes and spending: http://www.johnsonforgovernor.org/actionplan_taxes.
Jobs & Economy -- Not enough Minnesotans have the jobs and the wages they want (and deserve). This is a function of a tax and regulatory scheme in our state that has been out of control for decades. Less government intrusion means more opportunities, and as governor, I will work hard EVERY day and ensure we deliver that. Read more here http://www.johnsonforgovernor.org/actionplan_jobs.
What’s one thing you want the Rochester community to know about you?
For too long the "elite" political class in St. Paul and around the state have had too much influence. There are several million forgotten Minnesotans that are ignored as huge legislative deals are cut between a handful of people in a backroom. This system perpetually grows government and spends more and more money each year. This does NOT benefit the average hardworking Minnesotan and it's time they were our first concern...not an afterthought. As governor, I will usher in a new attitude in state government and future generations will thank us all for it.