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Rukavina, Thomas "Tom"

House 1987-2012 (District 5A)

Party when first elected:  Democratic-Farmer-Labor

Counties Served:  St. Louis

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Date of Birth: 8/23/1950
Birth Place: Virginia, Minnesota
Birth County: St. Louis
Birth Country: United States
Date of Death: 1/7/2019
Gender: Male
Religion:
Reported Minority: None Reported
Other Names: Tom
City of Residence (when first elected): Virginia
Occupation (when first elected): Legal Assistant/Former Milk Truck and Garbage Truck Driver/Former Miner, Minntac Mine, 3 years

EDUCATION

Marquette Parochial School ; Elementary School;
Roosevelt High School; Secondary; Graduate, 1968
Mesabi Range Community and Technical College ; A.A.; 1970
University of Minnesota, Duluth; B.A.; Political Science Major, History Minor, Cum Laude, 1972

OTHER GOVERNMENT SERVICE

State Board/Commission/Council: Minnesota Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitaton Board (Member: 26 years); 19?? to 20??
School Board/Administration: Virginia, Minnesota (School Board, Chair); 1973 to 19?? [Elected]
Municipal Board/Commission: Pike Township, Minnesota (Township Board Supervisor); 1976 to 1978 [Elected]
County Board/Commissioner: St. Louis County, Minnesota (County Commissioner); 2015 to 2018 [Elected]

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Spouse: Lenore Lampi (when first elected; married in September 1973 for nearly 30 years); Single; Jean Cole (married in 2012)
Children: Two children: Ida (daughter), Victor "Vic" (son) and three stepdaughters: Katie, Kelsey, and Christine
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:

GENERAL NOTES

He has Croatian ancestry.

He ran unsuccessfully to become the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party candidate for Governor of Minnesota in the 2010 election. He dropped out during the state convention.

He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives in the 1982 Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party primary election. Dominic Elioff's margin of victory over Tom Rukavina in the primary election was so small that a recount occurred. Dominic Elioff was determined to be the winner.

He worked for Congressman Rick Nolan. (Ely Echo, January 12, 2019)

"The building which houses the Iron Range Engineering Program at Mesabi Range College bears his name." (Ely Echo, January 12, 2019)

His funeral was held on January 19, 2019 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Virginia, Minnesota.

Total Days Served: 9499

SESSIONS SERVED

87th Legislative Session (2011-2012)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 05A
Elected: 11/2/2010
Residence: Virginia
Term of Office: 1/4/2011 to 1/7/2013
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Legislator
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:

86th Legislative Session (2009-2010)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 05A
Elected: 11/4/2008
Residence: Virginia
Term of Office: 1/6/2009 to 1/3/2011
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Legislator
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Special Session Bills Authored:  2010 2nd Sp.S. - Chief Author    2010 2nd Sp.S. - Author
Committees:
  • Finance Minutes
  • Finance: Capital Investment Finance Division Minutes
  • Finance: Higher Education and Workforce Development Finance and Policy Division (Chair) Minutes
  • Taxes Minutes

85th Legislative Session (2007-2008)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 05A
Elected: 11/7/2006
Residence: Virginia
Term of Office: 1/3/2007 to 1/5/2009
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Legislator
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Finance Minutes
  • Finance: Capital Investment Finance Division Minutes
  • Finance: Education Finance and Economic Competitiveness Finance Division Minutes
  • Finance: Education Finance and Economic Competitiveness Finance Division: Higher Education and Work Force Development Policy and Finance Division (Chair) Minutes
  • Taxes Minutes

84th Legislative Session (2005-2006)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 05A
Elected: 11/2/2004
Residence: Virginia
Term of Office: 1/4/2005 to 1/2/2007
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Legislator
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Special Session Bills Authored:  2005 1st Sp.S. - Chief Author    2005 1st Sp.S. - Author
Committees:

83rd Legislative Session (2003-2004)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 05A
Elected: 11/5/2002
Residence: Virginia
Term of Office: 1/7/2003 to 1/3/2005
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Legislator
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Special Session Bills Authored:     2003 1st Sp.S. - Author
Committees:
  • Commerce, Jobs, and Economic Development
  • Taxes
  • Ways and Means

82nd Legislative Session (2001-2002)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 05A
Elected: 11/7/2000
Residence: Virginia
Term of Office: 1/3/2001 to 1/6/2003
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Legislator
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Special Session Bills Authored:     2001 1st Sp.S. - Author
Committees:
  • Commerce, Jobs, and Economic Development
  • Taxes
  • Taxes: Property Tax Division
  • Ways and Means

81st Legislative Session (1999-2000)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 05A
Elected: 11/3/1998
Residence: Virginia
Term of Office: 1/5/1999 to 1/2/2001
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Legislator
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Jobs and Economic Development Policy
  • Local Government and Metropolitan Affairs
  • Taxes

80th Legislative Session (1997-1998)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 05A
Elected: 11/5/1996
Residence: Virginia
Term of Office: 1/7/1997 to 1/4/1999
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Legislator
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Economic Development and International Trade
  • Economic Development and International Trade: Economic Development
  • Governmental Operations
  • Governmental Operations: Government Structures, Reform and Efficiency
  • Governmental Operations: State Government Finance Division (Chair)
  • Labor-Management Relations
  • Ways and Means

79th Legislative Session (1995-1996)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 05A
Elected: 11/8/1994
Residence: Virginia
Term of Office: 1/3/1995 to 1/6/1997
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Legislator
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Governmental Operations
  • Governmental Operations: State Government Finance Division (Chair)
  • International Trade and Economic Development
  • Labor-Management Relations
  • Ways and Means: Government Efficiency and Oversight Division

78th Legislative Session (1993-1994)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 05A
Elected: 11/3/1992
Residence: Virginia
Term of Office: 1/5/1993 to 1/2/1995
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Legislator
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Environment and Natural Resources
  • Labor-Management Relations
  • Labor-Management Relations: Unemployment and Workers' Compensation
  • Taxes
  • Taxes: State Taxes
Leadership Position: Assistant Majority Leader

77th Legislative Session (1991-1992)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 05A
Elected: 11/6/1990
Residence: Virginia
Term of Office: 1/8/1991 to 1/4/1993
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Legislator
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Economic Development
  • Economic Development: Review of Economic Development Strategies
  • Education
  • Education: Higher Education Division
  • Environment and Natural Resources
  • Labor-Management Relations
  • Labor-Management Relations: Worker's Compensation and Unemployment Insurance (Chair)
  • Redistricting

76th Legislative Session (1989-1990)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 05A
Elected: 11/8/1988
Residence: Virginia
Term of Office: 1/3/1989 to 1/7/1991
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Legislator
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Economic Development
  • Economic Development: Job Training and Retraining
  • Economic Development: Rural Resource Development Division
  • Environment and Natural Resources
  • Environment and Natural Resources: Solid Waste
  • Governmental Operations
  • Governmental Operations: Government Structures
  • Governmental Operations: Pensions
  • Governmental Operations: Personnel
  • Labor-Management Relations

75th Legislative Session (1987-1988)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 05A
Elected: 11/4/1986
Residence: Virginia
Term of Office: 1/6/1987 to 1/2/1989
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Legal Assistant/Former Milk Truck and Garbage Truck Driver/Former Miner, Minntac Mine, 3 years
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Economic Development and Housing
  • Economic Development and Housing: Job Development and Training
  • Environment and Natural Resources
  • Future and Technology
  • Future and Technology: Biotechnology
  • Future and Technology: Software
  • Governmental Operations
  • Governmental Operations: Pensions
  • Higher Education
Articles & Books About
"Hundreds Pay Final Respects to Tom Rukavina." WDIO, January 19, 2019.

"Thomas 'Tom' Martin Rukavina, 68, Dies." The Ely Echo, January 12, 2019.

"Rukavina - Legislator, Commissioner, Iron Range Champion - Dies at 68." Labor World, January 9, 2019, p. 1 & 4.

"Former Lawmaker was Iron Range Lion: Rukavina Died Battling Leukemia." Pioneer Press, January 8, 2019, page 2A.

Coolican, J. Patrick. "Tom Rukavina: He was Colorful and Tireless Defender of the Iron Range." Star Tribune, January 8, 2019, pages B1-B2.

Busse, Nick. "Rangers in a Strange Land: Iron Range Lawmakers Stick Together at the Capitol." Session Weekly, St. Paul: Minnesota House of Representatives Information Office, April 15, 2011, p. 3-4.



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