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Peggy Flanagan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Peggy Flanagan
Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan 2019.jpg
50th Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota
Assumed office
January 8, 2019
GovernorTim Walz
Preceded byMichelle Fischbach
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 46A district
In office
November 9, 2015 – January 7, 2019
Preceded byRyan Winkler
Succeeded byRyan Winkler
Member of the Minneapolis Public Schools Board
In office
July 6, 2010 – January 11, 2011
Preceded byPam Costain
Succeeded byRichard Mammen
In office
January 11, 2005 – January 13, 2009
Preceded byEvelyn Eubanks
Succeeded byJill Davis
Personal details
Born (1979-09-22) September 22, 1979 (age 42)
Political partyDemocratic (DFL)
Tim Hellendrung
(div. 2017)

Tom Weber
(m. 2019)
EducationUniversity of Minnesota (BA)
WebsiteGovernment website

Peggy Flanagan (born September 22, 1979) is an American Democratic political organizer, activist,[1] and politician serving as the 50th lieutenant governor of Minnesota. Flanagan has been involved in various political campaigns and progressive political organizing.[2] Officially a member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL), Flanagan represented District 46A in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2015 to 2019. Prior to her tenure in the House, she served on the Minneapolis Public Schools Board from 2005 to 2009 and was appointed to served from 2010 until 2011. Flanagan is a member of the White Earth Nation.

Flanagan was elected lieutenant governor on November 6, 2018, and is the second Native American woman to be elected to statewide executive office in U.S. history after Denise Juneau.

Early life and education

The daughter of American Indian land rights and sovereignty activist Marvin Manypenny, Flanagan was raised by a single mother, a phlebotomist, in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis.[3] She is a citizen of the White Earth Nation.[4] Flanagan received a bachelor's degree in child psychology and American Indian Studies from the University of Minnesota in 2002.[5][6]


Early career

While in college, Flanagan worked for the campaign of Democratic U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone, eventually becoming an organizer for the urban Native American community.[3] After college, she worked for the Minnesota Council of Churches, performing outreach work between Native American families and the Minneapolis public school system.[3]

In her first run for elective office, Flanagan won a seat on the board of Minneapolis Public Schools in 2004.[7] In a six-candidate field that featured two incumbents, the political newcomer Flanagan garnered the most votes.[8] She was elected along with Lydia Lee and incumbent Sharon Henry-Blythe and served one term on the board, from 2005 to 2009.[4] In 2008, she challenged incumbent Minnesota Representative Joe Mullery in the Democratic primary, but dropped out of the race due to her mother's health problems.[3] After working in a handful of other jobs, Flanagan joined Wellstone Action as a trainer of activists, organizers, and candidates.[3] She was then appointed to briefly serve on the school board again from 2010 until 2011.[9] As Executive Director of Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota, she also advocated for the successful 2014 effort to raise Minnesota's minimum wage.[3] In 2016, she began training for The Management Center, helping social justice leaders build and run effective, equitable, and sustainable organizations.[10]

Minnesota House of Representatives

Flanagan was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives unopposed in a special election on November 3, 2015, and was sworn-in on November 9, 2015.[11] Susan Allen (Rosebud) and Republican Steve Green (White Earth Ojibwe) were the only other Natives in the Minnesota State House at that time.

Three other Native women sought election to the Minnesota Legislature in November 2016: Mary Kelly Kunesh-Podein (Standing Rock Lakota) and Jamie Becker-Finn (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe) ran for state representative seats and Chilah Brown (Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe) ran for the Minnesota Senate. Kunesh-Podein and Becker-Finn were elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives and assumed office in January 2017.

In 2017, Flanagan, Allen, Kunesh-Podein and Beck-Finn formed the Minnesota House Native American Caucus to represent issues of both urban and rural Native Americans and their other constituents in the legislature.[12]

2016 Democratic National Convention

Flanagan was invited to address the 2016 Democratic National Convention on July 28, 2016. She was the first Native American woman to address the DNC from the podium.[12]

Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota


In 2017, she became a candidate for lieutenant governor, joining Congressman Tim Walz as their ticket won the DFL primary in the 2018 Minnesota gubernatorial election.[13] In the general election, the pair defeated the Republican ticket of Jeff Johnson and Donna Bergstrom. With their victory, she became the first racial minority woman elected to statewide office in Minnesota as well as the highest ranking Native American woman in statewide elected office.[14][15]


In February 2020, the National Congress of American Indians awarded her with the Native American Leadership Award for her work raising awareness of Native issues and improving lives of Indigenous people.

Bemidji State University named her a Distinguished Minnesotan in 2020.[16]

In July 2020, Flanagan received the Dr. B. Robert Lewis Award from the Minnesota Public Health Association for her work on addressing inequities in public health.[17]

Personal life

Flanagan has one daughter with her former husband, Tim Hellendrung.[18] The marriage was dissolved in 2017. Flanagan resides in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.[19] On January 12, 2018, Flanagan revealed on her personal Facebook page that she was in a relationship with the Minnesota Public Radio News host Tom Weber; MPR News announced that day that it was reassigning Weber and that he would no longer cover "the governor’s race, the Legislature, potential legislation, public policy involving the executive or legislative branches or any topic related to the November 2018 election."[20] Flanagan married Weber in September 2019.[21] On March 22, 2020, Flanagan revealed on her Instagram account that her brother Ron, who lived in Tennessee, died of a COVID-19 related illness, stating “To many, he’ll be a statistic: Tennessee’s second COVID-related death. But to me, I’ll remember a loving, older brother, uncle, father, and husband.”[22][23]

Electoral history

2018 Minnesota Governor Election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic (DFL) Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan 1,393,008 53.84% +3.77%
Republican Jeff Johnson and Donna Bergstrom 1,097,682 42.43% -2.08%
Grassroots Chris Wright and Judith Schwartzbacker 68,664 2.65% n/a
Libertarian Josh Welter and Mary O'Connor 26,736 1.03% n/a
Write-In 26,736 1.03% n/a
Majority 295,326 11.41%
2016 Minnesota State Representative District 46A Election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic (DFL) Peggy Flanagan 15,187 63.85%
Republican Anne Taylor 8,525 35.84%
Write-In 72 0.30%
Majority 6,662 28.01%
Nov. 3, 2015 Minnesota State Representative District 46A Special Election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic (DFL) Peggy Flanagan 3,137 96.40%
Write-In 117 3.60%
2004 Minneapolis School Board Election (elect 3)
Party Candidate Votes %
Non-Partisan Peggy Flanagan 71,907 23.72%
Non-Partisan Lydia Lee 68,694 22.66%
Non-Partisan Sharon Henry-Blythe (i) 44,759 14.76%
Non-Partisan Dennis Shapiro (i) 42,739 14.10%
Non-Partisan Sandra Miller 42,638 14.06%
Non-Partisan David Dayhoff 30,367 10.02%
Write-in 2,094 0.69%


  1. ^ July 18; Pm, 2015-3:57. "Progressive activist Peggy Flanagan running unopposed for Minnesota House". Star Tribune. Retrieved March 31, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ "Peggy Flanagan". Sojourners. July 14, 2011. Retrieved November 16, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Bierschbach, Briana (November 4, 2015). "The unopposed: Meet Minnesota's newest House member". MinnPost. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Lopez, Ricardo (July 18, 2015). "Progressive activist Peggy Flanagan running unopposed for Minnesota House". Star Tribune. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  5. ^ "Representative Peggy Flanagan (DFL) District: 46A". Minnesota House of Representatives. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  6. ^ "Meet St. Louis Park Rep. Peggy Flanagan | City South". Community Life Magazine.
  7. ^ "School Board: Lee, Flanagan, Henry-Blythe". November 11, 2004. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  8. ^ "November 2, 2004 General Election".
  9. ^ "Peggy Flanagan's focus for MPS students: equity". MinnPost. October 4, 2010. Retrieved May 21, 2022.
  10. ^ "About Peggy Flanagan – Minnesota Lt. Governor Candidate 2018". Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  11. ^ Montgomery, David H. (November 9, 2015). "Flanagan sworn in as newest Minnesota lawmaker". Saint Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  12. ^ a b Brewer, Suzette (July 28, 2016). "Peggy Flanagan, White Earth, Addresses DNC". Indian Country Today. Archived from the original on August 1, 2016. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  13. ^ Bakst, Brian (October 5, 2017). "Capitol View: Walz picks state legislator as running mate". Minnesota Public Radio.
  14. ^ Taylor, Rory (December 3, 2018). "Lieutenant Governor-Elect of Minnesota Peggy Flanagan Becomes the Highest-Ranking Native Woman Elected to Executive Office in the United States". Teen Vogue. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  15. ^ "Native women and access to power".
  16. ^ "Bemidji State University's Distinguished Minnesotan Award | News | Bemidji State University". Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  17. ^ Twitter Retrieved April 23, 2021. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ "Flanagan, Peggy - Legislator Record - Minnesota Legislators Past & Present". Retrieved May 21, 2022.
  19. ^ "MPR's Tom Weber reassigned because of romantic relationship with Rep. Peggy Flanagan". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on January 15, 2018. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  20. ^ Staff, MPR News. "A note from MPR News". Capitol View. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  21. ^ "Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan marries former MPR reporter Tom Weber". Star Tribune.
  22. ^ "Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan's brother dies of COVID-19. 'THIS is why we must #StayHome'". March 23, 2020. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
  23. ^ "Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan's brother dies of COVID-19". Star Tribune. Retrieved March 25, 2020.

External links

Minnesota House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 46A district

Succeeded by
Ryan Winkler
Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota
Most recent
Political offices
Preceded by Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota
This page was last edited on 22 July 2022, at 06:57
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