News & Features

Tim Penny
Born: Nov. 19, 1951
Personal: Wife, Barbara; four children (Jamison, 23; Joseph, 22; Molly, 20; Marcus, 16.) Born near Albert Lea. Resides in Waseca.
Education: Bachelor's degree in political science from Winona State University, 1974.
Occupation: Senior fellow, Humphrey Institute Policy Forum; Senior Counselor to the Minnesota based public relations firm Himle-Horner.
Political background: 1st District U.S. Representative 1982-1994. State senator 1976-1982. Co-author of "Common Cents," "The 15 Biggest Lies in Politics" and "Payment Due."


Audio on the Issues (RealAudio) •Penny on Midday's "Meet the Candidate" series. Listen. (11/01/02)

•Penny on MPR's Midday. Listen. (7/15/02)

•Penny accepts the Independence Party endorsement for governor. Listen. (7/13/02)

•Penny was a guest on MPR's Midday as part of the program's Meet the Candidate series. Listen. (6/28/02)

•MPR's Laura McCallum talked to Penny on the day he announced his candidacy. Listen. (6/27/02)

Final gubernatorial debate
All four major party candidates appeared on TPT's Almanac Read . (11/2/02)

Governor - General debate
Moe, Pawlenty, Penny and Pentel appeared on MPR's Midday for a general debate of issues in the race. Listen (10/14/02)

Governor - Higher Education Three of four major party candidates discuss their plans for higher education, including the premise that budget woes will cause cuts. Listen (10/09/02)

See an extensive archive of political debate audio from the campaign of 2002.

Tim Penny (Ind.)



During his time in Congress, Tim Penny often reached out to the opposition, touting deficit reduction when Democrats rarely talked about it. While his fiscal conservatism and moderate views sometimes angered Democratic leaders, by the early 1990s, his deficit-cutting message was getting through.

He helped President Bill Clinton push through a deficit reduction package in 1993 _ then announced the next day that he would not seek a seventh term. He has since co-authored three books critical of the political system and now runs a policy program with former Republican U.S. Rep. Vin Weber at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.

He also served on President Bush's bipartisan advisory panel on reforming Social Security. Since leaving office, Penny has worked for public relations firms and think tanks, including the libertarian Cato Institute and most recently, as co-director of the Humphrey Institute.

In 2000, Penny briefly considered running for Senate as a Democrat. Ventura unsuccessfully tried to recruit him to run on the Reform Party ticket. Ventura later left the Reform Party for the Independence Party.

When Ventura decided this summer not to run for another term, he again urged Penny to run _ this time as an Independence Party member. Penny agreed. He's facing two of the state's most powerful lawmakers in Democrat Roger Moe, the 20-year leader of the Senate, and Republican Tim Pawlenty, the second-in-command of the House.

The Green Party candidate is Ken Pentel.

He's running neck-and-neck with Pawlenty and Moe, with Pentel trailing far behind.


Tim Penny was elected as a Democrat to the Minnesota Senate in his Republican-leaning southern Minnesota district in 1976.

In 1982, he won a hotly contested race for the 1st Congressional District, where he ended up serving until 1994. The Independence Party whose banner Penny is running under this time around shuns political action committee money. Their top candidate has decided to go along with the party's wishes, which coupled with the fledgling party's lack of money, could put him at a disadvantage. But so far, he has been able to keep up with his opponents.

He's billing himself as being in the "sensible center" _ an amorphous territory that Pawlenty and Moe are trying to force him to define.

(Listen to Laura McCallum's interview with Penny.
Candidate News

Tim Pawlenty and Gov. VenturaPawlenty sets stage for Capitol revolution
Nov. 6 -- Minnesota Gov.-elect Tim Pawlenty met with reporters and talked with outgoing Gov. Jesse Ventura about making the transition into office on Wednesday. Pawlenty says the election means Republican ideals will have a much smoother time at the Capitol than in the past. (More)

GOP boss Ron EibensteinerHow did it happen? What does it mean?
Nov. 6 -- Minnesota Republicans are ecstatic, and Democrats are reeling from the near-Republican sweep of the general election. Republicans won races for U.S. Senate, governor, two closely-watched suburban congressional seats, and all but one constitutional office. Political observers say the reasons range from the messages of the campaigns to reaction to the memorial service for the late Sen. Paul Wellstone. (More)

Tim PawlentyPawlenty wins governor's race
Nov. 6 -- For the first time in 12 years, a Minnesota governor will have support from at least one legislative house. Riding the wave of support in the population-rich suburbs of the Twin Cities, Republican Tim Pawlenty appeared headed for the governor's office in Tuesday's elections. (More)

Tim Penny Frontrunner?
Sept. 12 -- Former congressman Tim Penny was late to the party -- both the race for governor and the Independence Party -- but has emerged as the apparent front-runner in the race. Supporters say voters identify with his self-described "centrist" views. Opponents say they just don't know Penny. ( More)

Gubernatorial Campaign Stories

How did it happen? What does it mean? (11/6/02)
Pawlenty sets stage for Capitol revolution (11/6/02)
Pawlenty wins governor's race (11/6/02)
Conflicting polls add to campaign confusion (11/3/02)
Last debate targets Pawlenty (11/2/02)
Candidates for governor sharpen rhetoric (10/31/02)
With time running out, gubernatorial candidates pick up pace (10/30/02)
Pentel's water tax (10/23/02)
Gubernatorial candidates stick to their scripts in KSTP debate (10/22/02)
Candidates in broad disagreement on transportation (10/14/02)
Pawlenty accepts campaign finance fine (10/11/02)
Higher ed debate frames candidate differences in race for governor (10/9/02)
Gubernatorial issue: Stadium (10/8/02)
TV spots on the increase (10/2/02)
With state short of cash, candidates short of solutions (9/30/02)
Candidates for governor talk transit in St. Cloud debate (9/24/02)
The high-tech debate (9/19/02)
Poll: Governor's race is three-way tie (9/17/02)
Penny wants new revenue forecast (9/23/02)
Gubernatorial candidates debate health care (9/20/02)
Poll: Governor's race is three-way tie (9/17/02)
Serious about issues: Pentel profile (9/17/02)
Profile: Roger Moe (9/12/02)
Pawlenty's path: Profile
Tone changing in race for governor (9/13/02)
Frontrunner? Tim Penny profile (9/12/02)
Clear sailing for gubernatorial candidates (9/11/02)
Candidates gang up on Penny (8/30/02)
Pawlenty leads money race (8/27/02)
Candidates debate wildlife issues, gun control (8/17/02)
Business issues focus of debate (8/13/02)
Cheney stumps for Pawlenty (8/12/02)
Candidates for governor debate agriculture policy (8/7/02)
Gubernatorial candidates hold first televised debate (8/1/02)
Senate ad spending worries gubernatorial candidates (7/25/02)
Penny, Moore endorsed by Independence Party (7/14/02)
Jax out of race for governor (7/11/02)
Penny names running mate; Republicans defect to IP(7/9/02)
Penny's position on abortion is already an issue (6/28/02)
Penny joins race for governor (6/27/02)
Duluth debate focuses on rural issues in gubernatorial race (6/25/02)
Who'll get the youth vote? (6/21/02)
'Jesse's people' may return to election sidelines (6/20/02)
Issues dominate in first three-way debate of gubernatorial candidates (6/20/02)
Independence Party scrambles for a candidate for governor (6/19/02)
The Ventura chronicles (6/18/02)
Ventura declines run at second term (6/18/02)
Gubernatorial candidates aren't waiting for Ventura (6/17/02)
Pawlenty wins endorsement in marathon (6/15/02)
GOP gubernatorial candidates in final debate (6/11/02)
GOP gubernatorial race: The money chase (6/6/02)
Pentel, McGaa get major Green Party endorsements (5/20/02)
A role switch: DFL united, GOP fighting (5/6/02)
Moe wins DFL Party endorsement; GOP says he's easy to beat. (5/4/02)
Wellstone, Hatch, Humphrey endorsed at DFL convention. (5/3/02)
DFLers in final debate before convention (5/2/02)
Profile: Judi Dutcher (4/30/02)
Profile: Becky Lourey (4/30/02)
Profile: Roger Moe (4/30/02)
Sullivan, Pawlenty debate environmental issues (4/30/02)
Sullivan names running mate (4/26/02)
Pentel announces candidacy for governor (4/19/02)
Major gubernatorial candidates debate; Greens shut out (4/18/2002)
Ventura: Waiting for a better offer? (4/10/2002)
Sullivan wins GOP straw poll (3/6/02)
Gubernatorial candidates hold first debate (3/1/02)
Moe launches campaign for governor (2/24/02)
Candidates step up attacks on Ventura (2/13/02)
The money chase (1/31/02)
Unicameral issue may be key to Ventura's political future (1/15/02)
Bridging the gender gap in governor's office (12/27/01)
Lourey announces bid for governor (11/15/01)
Pawlenty announces gubernatorial drive (9/5/01)