Pawlenty was born and raised in Minnesota. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1983 with a B.A. in political science and went on to earn his JD from University of Minnesota Law in 1986. Pawlenty got his first job as a labor law attorney and later became VP for a software service company Wizmo. He began his political career in Eagan, MN after  being appointed to the city’s planning commission. The next year he was elected a term on  the city council. Pawlenty eventually won a seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives.  After being re-elected several times, Pawlenty became the house majority leader in 1998. Pawlenty then ran in the 2002 gubernatorial campaign, winning that race and won re-election in 2006. Pawlenty served out his term through 2010, but decided not to run again.

Election Info

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Political Party


Current Position

Former Governor of Minnesota
Candidate is no longer pursuing election.

Candidate Profile

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Full Name: 
Timothy James Pawlenty
Date of Birth: 
Sunday, November 27, 1960

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Alma Mater: 
University of Minnesota (B.A.) (J.D.)




On the Issues

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Pawlenty would not deport illegal immigrants and it is unclear whether he would support a pathway to citizenship. Pawlenty wants to strengthen the border and create stronger punishments for employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.

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Pawlenty is a proponent of tax cuts, especially the payroll, capital gains, inheritance and marginal income taxes.

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Pawlenty is a strong advocate for a stronger U.S.-Mexico border and authorized the Minnesota National Guard to go down there for more border patrol.

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Pawlenty’s stance on environmental topics has changed over the course of the past few years, originally favoring strict environmental regulations and local cap and trade systems to denouncing democratic environmental ideals as “burdensome on our economy."

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Legislative Career

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2003 to 2011
State House of Representatives
1993 to 2003

Pawlenty was Majority Leader in the House from 1999-2003.

1989 to 1990