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Benson, Duane D.

Senate 1981-82 (District 35); Senate 1983-92 (District 32); Senate 1993-94 (District 31)

Party when first elected:  Independent Republican

Counties Served:  Dodge, Fillmore, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Winona

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Date of Birth: 8/5/1945
Birth Place: Belmond, Iowa
Birth County: Wright
Birth Country: United States
Date of Death: 1/26/2019
Gender: Male
Religion:
Reported Minority: None Reported
Other Names:
City of Residence (when first elected): Lanesboro
Occupation (when first elected): Farmer

EDUCATION

Hamline University; B.A.; With Honors, 1967

OTHER GOVERNMENT SERVICE

State Board/Commission/Council: Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority; [Dates Unknown]
State Board/Commission/Council: Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board (At-Large Member, Appointed by Governor Tim Pawlenty); 07/01/2004 to 20?? [Appointed]

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Spouse: Melissa
Children: Two children: Brooke and Jess
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:

GENERAL NOTES

Special Legislative Concerns: education, health care, agriculture, local government, transportation.

He was a linebacker for eleven years in the National Football League (NFL). He played for the Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, and Houston Oilers.

He was a member of the 'Gang of Seven' who helped to establish MinnesotaCare in the early 1990s (Access Press, March 10, 2018).

Total Days Served: 5005

SESSIONS SERVED

78th Legislative Session (1993-1994)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 31
Elected: 11/3/1992
Residence: Lanesboro
Term of Office: 1/5/1993 to 9/19/1994 (unfinished term)
Counties Represented: Dodge, Fillmore, Mower, Olmsted, Winona
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Governmental Operations and Reform
  • Governmental Operations and Reform: Reform and Innovation
  • Health Care
  • Health Care: Health Care and Family Services Finance Division
  • Rules and Administration
  • Taxes and Tax Laws
  • Taxes and Tax Laws: Income and Sales Tax
  • Taxes and Tax Laws: Property Tax
Reason for unfinished term: Resigned
Session Notes: He resigned on September 19, 1994 to become Director of the Minnesota Business Partnership.

77th Legislative Session (1991-1992)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 32
Elected: 11/6/1990
Residence: Lanesboro
Term of Office: 1/8/1991 to 1/4/1993
Counties Represented: Fillmore, Mower, Olmsted, Winona
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Health and Human Services
  • Health and Human Services: Health Care Access Division
  • Redistricting
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Committees
  • Rules and Administration: Permanent and Joint Rules
  • Rules and Administration: Personnel
  • Rules and Administration: Senate Budget
  • Taxes and Tax Laws
  • Taxes and Tax Laws: Income, Sales, and Economic Development Division
  • Taxes and Tax Laws: Property Taxes and Local Government Aids Division
Leadership Position: Minority Leader

76th Legislative Session (1989-1990) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 32
Elected: 11/4/1986
Residence: Lanesboro
Term of Office: 1/6/1987 to 1/7/1991
Counties Represented: Fillmore, Mower, Olmsted, Winona
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Health and Human Services
  • Health and Human Services: Welfare Reform
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Committees
  • Rules and Administration: Permanent and Joint Rules
  • Rules and Administration: Personnel
  • Rules and Administration: Senate Budget
  • Taxes and Tax Laws
  • Taxes and Tax Laws: Income Tax Division
Leadership Position: Minority Leader

75th Legislative Session (1987-1988)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 32
Elected: 11/4/1986
Residence: Lanesboro
Term of Office: 1/6/1987 to 1/7/1991
Counties Represented: Fillmore, Mower, Olmsted, Winona
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Health and Human Services
  • Health and Human Services: Welfare Reform Division
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Committees
  • Rules and Administration: Permanent and Joint Rules
  • Rules and Administration: Personnel
  • Rules and Administration: Senate Budget
  • Taxes and Tax Laws
  • Taxes and Tax Laws: Income Tax
Leadership Position: Minority Leader

74th Legislative Session (1985-1986) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 32
Elected: 11/2/1982
Residence: Lanesboro
Term of Office: 1/4/1983 to 1/5/1987
Counties Represented: Fillmore, Mower, Olmsted, Winona
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Economic Development and Commerce
  • Economic Development and Commerce: Banking
  • Economic Development and Commerce: Economic Development
  • Governmental Operations
  • Health and Human Services
  • Health and Human Services: Social Services
  • Taxes and Tax Laws
  • Taxes and Tax Laws: Economic Development
  • Taxes and Tax Laws: Income Tax
Leadership Position: Assistant Minority Leader

73rd Legislative Session (1983-1984)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 32
Elected: 11/2/1982
Residence: Lanesboro
Term of Office: 1/4/1983 to 1/5/1987
Counties Represented: Fillmore, Mower, Olmsted, Winona
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Economic Development and Commerce
  • Economic Development and Commerce: Banking
  • Economic Development and Commerce: Economic Development
  • Governmental Operations
  • Governmental Operations: Administration
  • Health and Human Services
  • Health and Human Services: Social Services
  • Taxes and Tax Laws
  • Taxes and Tax Laws: Economic Development
  • Taxes and Tax Laws: Income Tax

72nd Legislative Session (1981-1982)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 35
Elected: 11/4/1980
Residence: Lanesboro
Term of Office: 1/6/1981 to 1/3/1983
Counties Represented: Fillmore, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Winona
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Commerce
  • Commerce: Consumer Protection
  • Commerce: Publicly Regulated Industries
  • Education
  • Education: Educational Organization and Special Programs
  • Education: Joint House/Senate Subcommittee on Libraries
  • Health, Welfare and Corrections
  • Local Government and Urban Affairs
Articles & Books About
Olson, Rochelle. "Duane Benson State Senator, Business Leader, NFL Player: Talent for Tackling Tough Issues with a Smile Served State Well." Star Tribune, January 29, 2019, p. B4.

Reilly, Mark. "Duane Benson, Ex-Minnesota Business Partnership CEO and Former NFL Player, Dies at 73." Business Journal, January 29, 2019.

Salisbury, Bill. "Duane Benson, Former State Senator, Oakland Raider, Dies at 73." Pioneer Press, January 28, 2019.

Stolle, Matthew. "Duane Benson, NFL Player and Legislator, Dies." Rochester Post-Bulletin, January 28, 2019.



The Minnesota Legislative Reference Library has collected newspaper articles on legislators since 1973. They are available in the Library.