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Ramstad, James "Jim"

Senate 1981-82 (District 43); Senate 1983-90 (District 45)

Party when first elected:  Independent Republican

Counties Served:  Hennepin

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Date of Birth: 5/6/1946
Birth Place: Jamestown, North Dakota
Birth County: Stutsman
Birth Country: United States
Date of Death: 11/5/2020
Gender: Male
Religion: Presbyterian
Reported Minority: None Reported
Other Names: Jim
City of Residence (when first elected): Plymouth
Occupation (when first elected): Attorney/Former Adjunct Professor; American University, 1974-1978

EDUCATION

University of Minnesota; B.A.; Phi Beta Kappa, 1968
George Washington University Law School, Washington D.C.; J.D.; With Honors, 1973

OTHER GOVERNMENT SERVICE

Municipal Board/Commission: Wayzata-Plymouth, Minnesota (Chemical Health Commission); 19?? to 19??
Municipal Board/Commission: Plymouth, Minnesota (Human Rights Commission); 19?? to 19??
Military: United States Army; 1968 to 1969
Military: United States Army Reserve (1st Lieutenant); 1969 to 1975
State Legislative Staff: Minnesota House of Representatives (Speaker's Staff Member, Majority Research Consultant); 1969 to 1970
U.S. Legislative Staff/Council/Commission: United States House of Representatives (Staff Member for United States Representative Thomas S. Kleppe of North Dakota); 1970 to 1970
State Board/Commission/Council: Minnesota State Human Rights Advisory Committee; 1979 to 1980
U.S. Representative: 3rd Congressional District, Minnesota; 01/03/1991 to 2009 [Elected]

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Spouse: Single (while in office); Kathryn Christen Mitchell (married in 2005)
Children: One child: Christen (daughter, not listed while he was in office)
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:
Peter Nilsen Langemo  - Other - See Notes
Roy L. Voxland  - Other - See Notes

GENERAL NOTES

Special Legislative Concerns: small business, senior citizens, veterans, disabled/handicapped citizens, chemical dependency, education, tax reform.

Peter Nilsen Langemo's son, Jorgen Andreas, was married to Randi Ramstad who is a relative of James Ramstad.

Roy L. Voxland's mother-in-law, Randi Ramstad, is a relative of James Ramstad.

He served as an Assistant Campaign Manager for United States Representative William E. Frenzel of Minnesota, 1978.

A service for his immediate family will be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 29, and will be available for public viewing via the Wayzata Community Church website.

He was a member of United Presbyterian Church.

Religion provided by the Minnesota Legislative Manual, 1981-82

Total Days Served: 3654

SESSIONS SERVED

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

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 45
Elected: 11/4/1986
Residence: Minnetonka
Term of Office: 1/6/1987 to 1/7/1991
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Education
  • Education: Higher Education Division
  • Employment
  • Finance
  • Finance: Agriculture/Transportation and Semi-States Division
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Criminal Law Division

75th Legislative Session (1987-1988)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 45
Elected: 11/4/1986
Residence: Minnetonka
Term of Office: 1/6/1987 to 1/7/1991
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Education
  • Education: Higher Education Division
  • Employment
  • Employment: Injured Workers' Compensation
  • Finance
  • Finance: Agriculture/Transportation and Semi-States Division
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Criminal Law Division

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

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 45
Elected: 11/2/1982
Residence: Wayzata
Term of Office: 1/4/1983 to 1/5/1987
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Education
  • Education: Education Operation and Governance
  • Employment
  • Employment: Unemployment Insurance
  • Finance
  • Finance: Agriculture/Transportation/Semi-States
  • Finance: Joint Claims
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Criminal Law
Leadership Position: Assistant Minority Leader

73rd Legislative Session (1983-1984)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 45
Elected: 11/2/1982
Residence: Plymouth
Term of Office: 1/4/1983 to 1/5/1987
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Education
  • Education: Educational Operation and Governance
  • Employment
  • Employment: Unemployment Insurance
  • Finance
  • Finance: Agriculture/Transportation/Semi-States
  • Finance: Joint Claims
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Criminal Law
Leadership Position: Assistant Minority Leader

72nd Legislative Session (1981-1982)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 43
Elected: 11/4/1980
Residence: Plymouth
Term of Office: 1/6/1981 to 1/3/1983
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Attorney/Former Adjunct Professor; American University, 1974-1978
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
  • Education
  • Education: Joint House/Senate Subcommittee on Libraries
  • Education: Post-Secondary and Higher Education
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Corporate Law
  • Judiciary: Criminal Law
  • Judiciary: Revisor Bills
  • Veterans' Affairs

Senate Photos

The photos in this collection were scanned from the files of the Minnesota Senate Photographer with the generous help of the Minnesota Digital Library.

Articles & Books About
"Editorial: A Tribute to a Rare Politician." Star Tribune, August 2, 2021, p.A10

Ramstad, James M. "Jim." Star Tribune, November 26, 2020, p. B5.

"Ramstad, James M. 'Jim': Age 74, of Wayzata." Pioneer Press, November 7, 2020, p. 9A.

Olson, Rochelle. "Jim Ramstad, 1946-2020: From Despair Emerged a Tireless Advocate for Mental Health." Star Tribune, November 7, 2020, p. B1 & B4.

"9-Term Rep. Jim Ramstad Dies at 74: He Championed Mental Health Issues for Decades." Star Tribune, November 6, 2020, p. B1 & B5.

Bakst, Brian. "Longtime Rep. Jim Ramstad, A Champion for Addiction Help, has Died." MPR News, November 5, 2020.

Ramstad, James (Jim). Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.


Archive Collections
Jim Ramstad Papers, 1980-1995 (bulk 1980-1990) - Available in the Minnesota Historical Society's Collections

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