With Attorney General Lori Swanson and state Representative Erin Murphy losing to Tim Walz in Minnesota’s 2018 Democratic gubernatorial primary, Minnesota will continue its streak of never nominating a woman to the office of governor from a major party in state history. Meanwhile, with state Representative Peggy Flanagan and former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer Donna Bergstrom winning the DFL and GOP nominations for lieutenant governor respectively, Minnesota will have a woman in that governmental post for the 10th consecutive cycle beginning in 2019. The Gopher State owns the all-time U.S. record with women holding the lieutenant governorship for 35+ years since January 1983 with the election of DFLer Marlene Johnson (1983-1991). Johnson was followed by Republican Joanell Dyrstad (1991-1995), GOPer Joanne Benson (1995-1999), the Reform Party’s Mae Schunk (1999-2003), Republican Carol Molnau (2003-2011), DFLer Yvonne Prettner Solon (2011-2015), DFLer Tina Smith (2015-2017), and Republican Michelle Fischbach (2018-present). Iowa’s streak of 30+ years ended in 2017 when Kim Reynolds succeeded Terry Branstad as governor and state Attorney General Adam Gregg was appointed lieutenant governor.


  1. Nikoli Orr on August 19, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    Prior to his tenure as “acting” lieutenant governor, Adam Gregg served as the Public Defender of Iowa, appointed to the post shortly after the 2014 attorney general election, in which he was the R nominee. To the best of my knowledge, he has not advocated for the elimination of the post, which, according to his predecessor Jo Ann Zimmerman, along with many others, is considered a “figurehead position”.

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