Photo provided by Tina Smith Campaign


Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor

Official Bio:

I serve as United States Senator for Minnesota. I’ve dedicated the last 30 years of my life to working with and serving the people of Minnesota. My focus has always been bringing people together to talk, listening to everyone—even if we disagree—and turning those conversations into results for Minnesota.

I came to Minnesota in 1984 with my husband Archie, a beat-up orange car, student debt and a new job at General Mills. We raised our two sons Sam and Mason in Minnesota and made the state our home. Today, our family has grown to include two incredible daughters-in-law and we all live within five miles of each other.

I started my career at General Mills and eventually left to start my own small business. Around this same time, I started volunteering on campaigns in my community. In 2003, when I saw that Minnesota women and families weren’t able to access the healthcare they needed I went to work at Planned Parenthood Minnesota. After that, I served as chief of staff to both Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak and Governor Mark Dayton. In 2014, I ran on a ticket with Governor Dayton and was elected as Minnesota’s 48th Lieutenant Governor.

As Lt. Governor, I started visiting people all over Minnesota. In the Senate, I’ve continued to travel across the state meeting with Minnesotans in their communities. Over the past six months, I’ve held over 90 meetings, roundtables and events as a Senator, and I’m not stopping there. Because I found that when I understand what Minnesotans are dealing with day-to-day it helps me see how I can make a difference.

Your key platforms:

The number one issue I hear from Minnesotans is about the rising costs of health care especially driven higher by the rising prices of prescription drugs That’s why the first bill I introduced in the Senate would work to lower the cost of prescription drugs by addressing a corporate loophole that giant pharmaceutical companies use to game the system and keep affordable generic drugs off the market.

I serve on the Senate Agriculture committee where I worked to help pass the bipartisan Senate Farm Bill. I believe a growing agricultural economy and vibrant rural communities are the heart of Minnesota. That’s why I worked to create a strong safety net for farmers, secured protections for renewable energy and supplemental nutrition assistance programs, as well as funding for rural broadband and beginning farmers.

I also Introduced a bill to help promote partnerships between local businesses and schools to help ensure Minnesotans have the skills they need to fill high-demand jobs. I know that not every young person will go to a four-year college, or that they want to, so it’s important they have the skills they need to succeed.

You can read more about my work by visiting my website and by following me on twitter@TinaSmithMN.

What’s one thing you want the Rochester community to know about you?

I believe we need a diverse economy that works for all Minnesotans, so that businesses grow and workers get better jobs and better pay. I’m a fierce advocate for investing in Minnesota.

Before joining the Senate, I led the Destination Medical Center initiative, the largest public-private partnership in Minnesota history. This effort will keep Rochester a global health care destination and is expected to create more than 30,000 new jobs in southeast Minnesota.

In the Senate, I am continuing to work for greater economic opportunity and fairness for all Minnesotans and fight to make sure everyone has the freedom and opportunity to build the life they want to live.