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President and President Pro Tempore of the Minnesota Senate, 1849-present

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Compiled from Minnesota legislative manuals and other sources, including previous library compilations and several histories of Minnesota. Citations to "Toensing" refer to W.F. Toensing, Minnesota Congressmen, Legislators, and Other Elected State Officials: An Alphabetical Check List, 1849-1971 (Minnesota Historical Society, 1971). Where a name or party designation is not given in the list, it was not given authoritatively in the sources so far consulted. It may be available from other sources. While efforts have been made to verify this information in more than one source, the library cannot guarantee the accuracy of sources; errors are possible. Please report any errors to the library staff.

Abbreviations KEY:

A = Alliance, C = Conservative, D = Democrat, DFL = Democratic-Farmer-Labor, E = Extra Session, FL = Farmer-Labor, IR = Independent-Republican, L = Liberal, P = Populist, R = Republican, W = Whig

The position of Senate President, elected at the beginning of the odd year session, is usually held for the full biennium. Changes made during the biennium are noted. President pro tem information is incomplete and work is in progress.

YEAR PRESIDENT   PRESIDENT PRO TEM PARTY
2013 Pappas, Sandra "Sandy" L. DFL Rest, Ann H. DFL
2011 Fischbach, Michelle L. R Olson, Gen R
2009 Metzen, James DFL Frederickson, Dennis R
2007 Metzen, James DFL Frederickson, Dennis R
2005 Metzen, James DFL Pappas, Sandra L. DFL
2003 Metzen, James DFL Pappas, Sandra L. DFL
2001 Samuelson, Don DFL Moe, Roger D. DFL
1999 Spear, Allan H. DFL Moe, Roger D. DFL
1997 Spear, Allan H. DFL Moe, Roger D. DFL
1996 Spear, Allan H. DFL Moe, Roger D. DFL
1995 Spear, Allan H. DFL Chmielewski, Sr., Florian W. DFL
1993E Spear, Allan H. DFL    
1993 Spear, Allan H. DFL Chmielewski, Sr., Florian W. DFL
1991 Hughes, Jerome M. DFL Chmielewski, Sr., Florian W.(DFL); Majority President Pro Tem: Spear, Allan H.(DFL); Minority President Pro Tem: Renneke, Earl W.(IR)  
1989E Hughes, Jerome M. DFL    
1989 Hughes, Jerome M. DFL    
1987E Chmielewski, Sr., Florian W.; Hughes absent DFL    
1987 Hughes, Jerome M. DFL    
1986E Hughes, Jerome M. DFL    
1985E Hughes, Jerome M. DFL    
1985 Hughes, Jerome M. DFL    
1983 Hughes, Jerome M. DFL Permanent Rules of the Senate again specify that in the absence of the president, the chair of the Committee on Rules and Administration, or his designee, shall preside.  
1982E3 Davies, Jack (John T.) DFL    
1982E2 Davies, Jack (John T.) DFL    
1982E Davies, Jack (John T.) DFL    
1981E3 Davies, Jack (John T.) DFL    
1981E2 Davies, Jack (John T.) DFL    
1981E Davies, Jack (John T.) DFL    
1981 Davies, Jack (John T.) DFL Hughes, Jerome M. (office reestablished; see Senate Journal, 6 Jan. 1981, and Permanent Rules of the Senate) DFL
1979E Gearty, Edward J. DFL    
1979 Gearty, Edward J. DFL    
1977 Gearty, Edward J. DFL    
1975 Olson, Alec G.; became Lt. Gov., 29 Dec. 1976. DFL    
1973 Olson, Alec G. DFL    

From statehood through 1972, the Lieutenant Governor served as President of the Senate. In 1972, the Minnesota Constitution was amended (See ballot question: 1971 Laws of Minnesota, Chapter 958) and the Senate elected the president from among its ranks. And, from 1973 to 1979 "In the absence of the President, the Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Administration, or his designee, shall preside over the Senate..." (Permanent Rules of the Senate)

STATE SENATE - LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR SERVES AS PRESIDENT

YEAR PRESIDENT   PRESIDENT PRO TEM PARTY
1971E Perpich, Rudy DFL    
1971 Perpich, Rudy DFL Josefson, J. A. ("Joe") R/C
1969 Goetz, James B. R Franz, Walter J. R/C
1967E Goetz, James B. R    
1967 Goetz, James B. R Anderson, Ernest J. R/C
1966E Keith, A. M. (Alexander MacDonald, "Sandy") D    
1965 Keith, A. M. (Alexander MacDonald, "Sandy") D Sinclair, Donald C
1963 Keith, A. M. (Alexander MacDonald, "Sandy") D Rosenmeier, Gordon C
1961E2 Rolvaag, Karl F. D    
1961E Rolvaag, Karl F. D    
1961 Rolvaag, Karl F. D Larson, Norman J. R
1959E Rolvaag, Karl F. D    
1959 Rolvaag, Karl F. D Wahlstrand, Harry L. C
1958E Rolvaag, Karl F. D    
1957E Rolvaag, Karl F. D    
1957 Rolvaag, Karl F. D Welch, Thomas P. R/C
1955E Rolvaag, Karl F. D    
1955 Rolvaag, Karl F. D Imm, Val R/C
1953 Nelson, Ancher R Wright, Donald O. (served as Lt. Gov. 3 Sept. 1954-3 Jan. 1955) R/C
1951E Anderson, C. Elmer R    
1951 Anderson, C. Elmer R Sletvold, Albert O. C?
1949 Anderson, C. Elmer R Mullin, Gerald T. D?/C?
1947 Anderson, C. Elmer R Lightner, Milton C. R/C
1945 Anderson, C. Elmer R Weber, J. V. (John Vincent) R/C
1944E Miller, Archie H.; Miller became Lt. Gov. 27 April 1943, when Edward Thye became governor upon the resignation of Harold Stassen      
1943 Thye, Edward J. R Miller, Archie H. C
1941 Anderson, C. Elmer R Carley, James A. D
1939 Anderson, C. Elmer R Larson, Henry A. R
1937E Richardson, William B.      
1937 Richardson, William B. "Due to illness, the Lieutenant-Governor-Elect Gottfried [sic] Lindsten was unable to assume the duties of his office"; Richardson (pres. pro tem) nominated and elected to "temporarily preside"--1937 Journal of the senate, p. 3 (5 Jan. 1937). Richardson apparently presided for the entire session. Gottfrid Lindsten was with the FL party. R Richardson, William B.; referred to as president (without "pro tem")of the senate in some places in 1937 senate journal. R
1936E Richardson, William B.   Richardson, William B. R
1935E Petersen, Hjalmar FL Richardson, William B. R
1935 Petersen, Hjalmar FL Richardson, William B.; was acting Lt. Gov. from 24 Aug. 1936 R
1933E Solberg, Konrad K. FL    
1933 Solberg, Konrad K. FL Widell, Gustaf U
1931 Arens, Henry FL Larson, Adolph S. R
1929 Nolan, William I. R Adams, Charles E. (Charles Edward); became Lt. Gov., 25 June 1929 (after session)  
1927 Nolan, William I. R Sullivan, John D.  
1925 Nolan, William I. R Rockne, Anton J. (Anton Julius)  
1923 Collins, Louis L. R Orr, Charles N. (Charles Noah) R
1921 Collins, Louis L. R Putnam, Frank E.; Sageng, Ole O.  
1919E Frankson, Thomas R    
1919 Frankson, Thomas R    
1917 Frankson, Thomas R    
1916E Sullivan, George H. R    
1915 Burnquist, Joseph A. A. R    
1913 Burnquist, Joseph A. A. R    
1912E Gordon, Samuel Y.      
1911 Gordon, Samuel Y. R    
1909 Eberhart, Adolph O. R Smith, Edward E.; became lt. gov, June or Sept. 1909 R
1907 Eberhart, Adolph O. R Smith, Edward E. R
1905 Jones, Ray W. R Thompson, Richard E. (Richard Enos) R
1903 Jones, Ray W. R Thompson, Richard E. (Richard Enos) R
1902E Smith, Lyndon A. R    
1901 Smith, Lyndon A. R Stockton, Albert W. (Albert William) R
1899 Gibbs, John L. R Stockton, Albert W. (Albert William) R
  Smith, Lyndon A. R    
1897 Gibbs, John L. R Barr, George T. R
1895 Day, Frank A. (Frank Arah) R Day, Frank A. (Frank Arah) R
1893 Clough, David M. (David Marston) R Sanborn, John B. W,R
1891 Ives, Gideon S. R Sanborn, John B. W,R
1889 Rice, Albert E. R Ives, Gideon S. (Gideon Sprague) R
1887 Rice, Albert E. R Buckman, Clarence B. R
1885 Gilman, Charles A. R    
1883 Gilman, Charles A. R Goodrich, Daniel F. R
1881E Gilman, Charles A. R    
1881 Gilman, Charles A.   Wilson, Horace B. R
1879 Wakefield, James B. R    
1878 Wakefield, James B. R Edgerton, Alonzo J. R
1877 Wakefield, James B. R Daniels, John V. R
1876 Wakefield, James B. R Meighen, William  
1875 Barto, Alphonso R    
1874 Barto, Alphonso R    
1873 Yale, William H. (William Hall) R    
1872 Yale, William H. (William Hall) R    
1871 Yale, William H. (William Hall) R    
1870 Yale, William H. (William Hall) R    
1869 Armstrong, Thomas H. R    
1868 Armstrong, Thomas H. R    
1867 Armstrong, Thomas H. R    
1866 Armstrong, Thomas H. R    
1865 Sherwood, Charles D. R    
1864 Sherwood, Charles D. R    
1863 Donnelly, Ignatius; Resigned to take seat in the U.S. House, 4 March 1863. R    
1862E Donnelly, Ignatius R    
1862 Donnelly, Ignatius R    
1861 Donnelly, Ignatius R    
1860 Donnelly, Ignatius P/R    
1859 Holcombe, William; to January 2, 1860. D    
1858 Holcombe, William D    
1857/58 Murphy, Richard G.; until June 3, 1858      
  TERRITORIAL COUNCIL      
1857E Brisbin, John B.      
1857 Brisbin, John B.      
1856 Brisbin, John B.      
1855 Murray, William P.      
1854 Olmstead, S. Baldwin; (spelled Olmsted in list in 1889 Legislative Manual and in Toensing; Olmstead in Minnesota in Three Centuries and in Neill)      
1853 McLeod, Martin      
1852 Forbes, William H.      
1851 Loomis, David B.      
1849 Olmsted, David      

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