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Johnson, Dean Elton

House 1979-82 (District 21A); Senate 1983-2002 (District 15); Senate 2003-2006 (District 13)

Party when first elected:  Independent Republican

Counties Served:  Chippewa, Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker, Pope, Renville, Stearns, Yellow Medicine

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Date of Birth: 6/24/1947
Birth Place: Lanesboro, Minnesota
Birth County: Fillmore
Birth Country: United States
Date of Death:
Gender: Male
Religion: Lutheran
Reported Minority: None Reported
Other Names:
City of Residence (when first elected): Willmar
Occupation (when first elected): Clergy/Chaplain, Minnesota Army National Guard/Former Pastor Calvary Lutheran Church, Willmar

EDUCATION

Lanesboro High School; Secondary;
Luther College, Decorah, Iowa; B.A.; Business Administration
Luther Theological Seminary, St. Paul; M.Div.; Master of Divinity
U.S. Army War College; M.S.S.; Strategic Studies, 2002

OTHER GOVERNMENT SERVICE

Military: Minnesota Army National Guard; 19?? to 2???
Municipal Government: Willmar, Minnesota (Fire Department); 19?? to 19??
Municipal Council/Aldermen: Willmar, Minnesota (City Council); 1977 to 1978 [Elected]
Board of Regents: University of Minnesota; 2007 to 2013 [Elected]

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Spouse: Single (when first elected); Avonelle (first listed in 1985, she died in 2005 while he was in office); Widower
Children: One child
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:

GENERAL NOTES

Special Legislative Concerns: criminal justice, business climate, agriculture, welfare reform, transportation, public education, rural economic development, telecommunications, taxes.

He grew up on a farm.

He served as Senate Minority Leader as an Independent Republican member and Senate Majority Leader as a Democratic-Farmer-Labor member.

Religion provided by Politics in Minnesota the Directory, 2005-2006.

Total Days Served: 10227

SESSIONS SERVED

84th Legislative Session (2005-2006) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 13
Elected: 11/5/2002
Residence: Willmar
Term of Office: 1/7/2003 to 1/2/2007
Counties Represented: Kandiyohi, Pope, Stearns
Occupation: Lutheran Pastor, Calvary Lutheran Church, Willmar/National Guard Chaplain, Brigadier General
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:
  • Agriculture, Veterans and Gaming
  • Capital Investment
  • Finance: Transportation Budget Division
  • Rules and Administration (Chair)
  • Rules and Administration: Committees (Chair)
  • Rules and Administration: Permanent and Joint Rules
  • Rules and Administration: Personnel (Chair)
  • Rules and Administration: Senate Budget
  • Transportation
Leadership Position: Majority Leader
Ran in next election? Yes. Defeated in general election

83rd Legislative Session (2003-2004)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 13
Elected: 11/5/2002
Residence: Willmar
Term of Office: 1/7/2003 to 1/2/2007
Counties Represented: Kandiyohi, Pope, Stearns
Occupation: Lutheran Pastor, Calvary Lutheran Church, Willmar/National Guard Chaplain, Brigadier General (Select)
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Special Session Bills Authored:  2003 1st Sp.S. - Chief Author    2003 1st Sp.S. - Author
Committees:
  • Agriculture, General Legislation and Veterans Affairs-2003/Agriculture, Veterans and Gaming-2004 [He was a member in 2004 only.]
  • Capital Investment
  • Finance [He was a member in 2003 only.]
  • Finance: Transportation Policy and Budget Division (Chair) [He was the Chair in 2003 only.]
  • Rules and Administration (Chair)
  • Rules and Administration: Elections
  • Rules and Administration: Ethical Conduct
  • Rules and Administration: Permanent and Joint Rules
  • State and Local Government Operations
Leadership Position: Majority Leader
Leadership Notes: He was elected Majority Leader in 2004.

82nd Legislative Session (2001-2002)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 15
Elected: 11/7/2000
Residence: Willmar
Term of Office: 1/3/2001 to 1/6/2003
Counties Represented: Chippewa, Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker, Renville, Yellow Medicine
Occupation: Lutheran Minister, Calvary Lutheran Church, Willmar/National Guard Chaplain
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Special Session Bills Authored:  2001 1st Sp.S. - Chief Author    2001 1st Sp.S. - Author
Committees:
  • Agriculture, General Legislation and Veterans Affairs
  • Finance
  • Finance: Transportation and Public Safety Budget Division (Chair)
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Elections
  • Rules and Administration: Ethical Conduct
  • Rules and Administration: Permanent and Joint Rules
  • Transportation

81st Legislative Session (1999-2000) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 15
Elected: 11/5/1996
Residence: Willmar
Term of Office: 1/7/1997 to 1/2/2001
Counties Represented: Chippewa, Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker, Renville, Yellow Medicine
Occupation: Lutheran Pastor, Calvary Lutheran Church, Willmar/National Guard Chaplain (Colonel)
Party: Republican Party Notes: He switched to the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party on January 12, 2000.
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Education Finance
  • Election Laws
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Committees
  • Rules and Administration: Permanent and Joint Rules
  • Rules and Administration: Personnel
  • Rules and Administration: Senate Budget
  • Transportation
  • Transportation/State Government Finance: Transportation Budget Division

80th Legislative Session (1997-1998)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 15
Elected: 11/5/1996
Residence: Willmar
Term of Office: 1/7/1997 to 1/2/2001
Counties Represented: Chippewa, Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker, Renville, Yellow Medicine
Occupation: Lutheran Pastor, Calvary Lutheran Church, Willmar/National Guard Chaplain (Colonel)
Party: Republican
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Education Finance
  • Election Laws
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Committees
  • Rules and Administration: Permanent and Joint Rules
  • Rules and Administration: Personnel
  • Rules and Administration: Senate Budget
  • Transportation
  • Transportation/State Government Finance: Transportation Budget Division
Leadership Position: Minority Leader
Leadership Notes: He resigned from his position as Minority Leader in July 1997.

79th Legislative Session (1995-1996) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 15
Elected: 11/3/1992
Residence: Willmar
Term of Office: 1/5/1993 to 1/6/1997
Counties Represented: Chippewa, Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker, Renville, Yellow Medicine
Occupation: Lutheran Pastor, Calvary Lutheran Church, Willmar/Chaplain (Colonel) Minnesota Army National Guard
Party: Independent Republican
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Ethics and Campaign Reform
  • Finance
  • Finance: Capital Budget
  • Gaming Regulation
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Committees
  • Rules and Administration: Permanent and Joint Rules
  • Rules and Administration: Personnel
  • Rules and Administration: Senate Budget
Leadership Position: Minority Leader

78th Legislative Session (1993-1994)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 15
Elected: 11/3/1992
Residence: Willmar
Term of Office: 1/5/1993 to 1/6/1997
Counties Represented: Chippewa, Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker, Renville, Yellow Medicine
Occupation: Lutheran Pastor, Calvary Lutheran Church, Willmar/Chaplain (Colonel) MN Army National Guard
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Ethics and Campaign Reform
  • Finance
  • Gaming Regulation
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Committees
  • Rules and Administration: Permanent and Joint Rules
  • Rules and Administration: Personnel
  • Rules and Administration: Senate Budget
Leadership Position: Minority Leader

77th Legislative Session (1991-1992)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 15
Elected: 11/6/1990
Residence: Willmar
Term of Office: 1/8/1991 to 1/4/1993
Counties Represented: Kandiyohi, Pope, Stearns
Occupation: Lutheran Pastor, Calvary Lutheran Church, Willmar/Chaplain (LTC) MN Army National Guard
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Elections and Ethics
  • Finance
  • Finance: Education Division
  • Finance: Joint Claims
  • Gaming Regulation
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Special Committee on Ethical Conduct
  • Transportation
  • Transportation: Commercial Policy
  • Veterans and General Legislation
Leadership Position: Assistant Minority Leader

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

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 15
Elected: 11/4/1986
Residence: Willmar
Term of Office: 1/6/1987 to 1/7/1991
Counties Represented: Kandiyohi, Pope, Stearns
Occupation: Lutheran Pastor, Calvary Lutheran Church, Willmar/Chaplain (LTC) MN Army National Guard
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Elections and Ethics
  • Finance
  • Finance: Education Division
  • Finance: Health and Human Services Division
  • Finance: Joint Claims
  • General Legislation and Public Gaming
  • Public Utilities and Energy
  • Public Utilities and Energy: Utilities
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Special Committee on Ethical Conduct

75th Legislative Session (1987-1988)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 15
Elected: 11/4/1986
Residence: Willmar
Term of Office: 1/6/1987 to 1/7/1991
Counties Represented: Kandiyohi, Pope, Stearns
Occupation: Lutheran Pastor, Calvary Lutheran Church, Willmar/Chaplain (Major) MN Army National Guard
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Elections and Ethics
  • Finance
  • Finance: Education Division
  • General Legislation and Public Gaming
  • Public Utilities and Energy
  • Public Utilities and Energy: Deregulated Industries
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Special Committee on Ethical Conduct
Leadership Position: Assistant Minority Leader

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

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 15
Elected: 11/2/1982
Residence: Willmar
Term of Office: 1/4/1983 to 1/5/1987
Counties Represented: Kandiyohi, Pope, Stearns
Occupation: Lutheran Pastor, Calvary Lutheran Church, Willmar/Chaplain (Major) MN Army National Guard
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Elections and Ethics
  • Finance
  • Finance: Health and Human Services
  • Health and Human Services
  • Health and Human Services: Income Maintenance
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Criminal Law
  • Judiciary: Judicial Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Special Committee on Ethical Conduct
Leadership Position: Assistant Minority Leader

73rd Legislative Session (1983-1984)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 15
Elected: 11/2/1982
Residence: Willmar
Term of Office: 1/4/1983 to 1/5/1987
Counties Represented: Kandiyohi, Pope, Stearns
Occupation: Lutheran Pastor, Calvary Lutheran Church, Willmar/Realtor
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Elections and Ethics
  • Finance
  • Finance: Health and Human Services
  • Health and Human Services
  • Health and Human Services: Income Maintenance
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Criminal Law
  • Judiciary: Judicial Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Special Committee on Ethical Conduct

72nd Legislative Session (1981-1982)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 21A
Elected: 11/4/1980
Residence: Willmar
Term of Office: 1/6/1981 to 1/3/1983
Counties Represented: Kandiyohi
Occupation: Clergy, Calvary Lutheran Church, Willmar/Real Estate
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Appropriations
  • Appropriations: State Departments Division
  • Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement and Corrections
  • Financial Institutions and Insurance
  • Financial Institutions and Insurance: Insurance

71st Legislative Session (1979-1980)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 21A
Elected: 11/7/1978
Residence: Willmar
Term of Office: 1/3/1979 to 1/5/1981
Counties Represented: Kandiyohi
Occupation: Clergy/Chaplain, Minnesota Army National Guard/Former Pastor Calvary Lutheran Church, Willmar
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Appropriations
  • Appropriations: State Departments Division
  • Financial Institutions and Insurance
  • Financial Institutions and Insurance: Banking
  • Local and Urban Affairs
  • Local and Urban Affairs: Governmental Administration and Structures
Audio
Gay Rights Speech (Audio) 1993 - from 3/18/93 Senate Floor Session


District Files

District File - 2002 District 15
District File - 2003 District 13
District File - 2004 District 13
District File - 2005 District 13
District File - 2006 District 13
These files are available in the Legislative Reference Library.

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