News & Features

Norm Coleman
Born: Born Aug. 17, 1949; Brooklyn, NY.
Personal: Married to Laurie. Two children, Jacob and Sara
Education: B.A. from Hofstra University and J.D. from the University of Iowa.
Political background: Elected Mayor of St. Paul, 1993. Ran unsuccessfully for governor, 1998.

Campaign finance data

Coleman-Mondale Debate
On the day before the general election that decided the fate of their one-week campaign, former Vice President Walter Mondale and former St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman debated at the Fitzgerald Theater.
Listen | Read . (11/4/02)

All four major-party candidates for U.S. Senate appeared together for the first time since the State Fair. U.S. policy toward Iraq was a central focus of the debate. Listen | Read . (10/17/02)

Senate - Concordia College
Sen. Paul Wellstone, Republican Norm Coleman and Independent Party candidate Jim Moore debated in a 90-minute debate in Moorhead. Listen (10/15/02)

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

Audio on the Issues (RealAudio) Coleman's speech at a GOP rally Listen.(10/30/02)

Coleman appeared on MPR's Midday as part of the program's Meet the candidate series. Listen.(10/14/02)

After winning the GOP endorsement, Coleman appeared on MPR's Midday. Listen.

Norm Coleman MPR's Midday. Listen (4/12/02)

MPR interview Listen (11/26/01)

Coleman announces Senate bid Listen

U.S. Senate
Norm Coleman (GOP)

Norm Coleman is credited with helping to revitalize the city of St. Paul. Under his tenure, the city gained a National Hockey League team, the Minnesota Wild; 18,000 new jobs; and a rejuvenated riverfront. He replaced a dilapidated block with a modern high-rise of offices, shops and restaurants, making way for the headquarters of Minneapolis tech firm Lawson Software. His eight years in office were marked without a tax increase.

Coleman focused on the riverfront as the key to turning the city around. Housing and office developments were built on both banks of the river, and Harriet Island Park underwent a $14.5 million renovation.

Yet his tenure was sometimes marked by controversy. He pressed the Historic Preservation Commission to condemn two old buildings downtown to make way for the expansion of the St. Paul Companies, and ousted three members when they refused. And city council members bristled when Coleman referred to the legislative branch as "my City Council."

His relationship with the state's Democratic Party was contentious. The party activists disliked him for his opposition to abortion and his battles with public employee unions. He was booed at the 1996 Democratic-Farmer-Labor state convention, even as he stood before the convention to "proudly proclaim my support" as a Clinton-Wellstone Democrat.

Just six months later, Coleman quit the party and became a Republican. He claims now that the turning point for him was when Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., voted against legislation overhauling welfare, and went to Wellstone's house to tell him. Wellstone says he doesn't remember the exchange.

Coleman had planned to run for governor again, but was persuaded by President Bush to take on Wellstone in 2002.


In 1993, Norm Coleman, a moderate Democrat, defeated the party's endorsed candidate, state Rep. Andy Dawkins. After switching parties, Coleman easily won re-election as a Republican in 1997, with 59 percent of the vote against Democratic state Sen. Sandy Pappas.

But his attempt to become the state's governor fell short when he lost to former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura, running as an independent.

Read more
From the campaign

Senator-elect ColemanColeman wins; Mondale concedes
Nov. 6 -- Exactly one week after he entered Minnesota's Senate race as a fill-in for the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, Walter Mondale conceded that race on Wednesday to Republican Norm Coleman. "It appears that this election has been decided and a few minutes ago I called Senator-elect Coleman to congratulate him on his success and wish him and Laurie the best in his new assignment," Mondale told supporters at a St. Paul hotel. (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)

Dean BarkleyVentura appoints Barkley to Wellstone seat
Nov. 4 - Gov. Ventura has appointed independent Dean Barkley as the temporary replacement to late U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone. Ventura says he's angry that debate organizers continue to exclude third-party candidates from participating. (More)

Senate Campaign Stories

Coleman beats Mondale; claims Senate seat (11/6/02)
How did it happen? What does it mean? (11/6/02)
Mondale, Coleman hold debate (11/4/02)
Conflicting polls add to campaign confusion (11/3/02)
Mondale campaigns on Iron Range (11/3/02)
White House visits boost Coleman (11/3/02)
Minnesota court orders new absentee ballots in Senate race (10/31/02)
Senate candidates hit the road (10/31/02)
Senate race resumes (10/30/02)
GOP restarts campaign after Wellstone death (10/28/02)
DFL, Wellstone family, look to Mondale (10/27/02)
Despite grief, DFL struggles with political reality (10/26/02)
Wellstone, 7 others, killed in plane crash (10/25/02)
Senate race:What now? (10/25/02)
Senate candidates disagree over economy in Chamber of Commerce debate (10/21/02)
Four Senate candidates debate in Rochester (10/18/02)
Three-way Senate debate in Moorhead (10/16/02)
Senate candidates focus on economy (10/16/02)
Three-way Senate debate in Moorhead (10/16/02)
Wellstone, Coleman debate; Tricomo, Moore shut out (10/12/02)
Senate race issue: Prescription drugs (10/9/02)
Wellstone looks to suburbs (10/7/02)
Iraq issue has Wellstone on defensive (9/27/02)
Coleman calls for first strike against Iraq (9/23/02)
Coleman, Wellstone spar over Social Security ads (9/20/02)
Voters making up their minds: It's close (9/18/02)
Ad Watch: Gloves come off (9/16/02)
McGaa ousted from Senate race; Incumbent lawmakers advance (9/11/02)
Senate candidates in raucous debate at State Fair (8/30/02)
Ad Watch: Coleman, Wellstone tangle over Social Security (8/29/02)
Food, fun and politicking at the fair (8/26/02)
Candidates debate wildlife issues, gun control(8/17/02)
Attack ads target Wellstone(8/14/02)
Senate candidates debate for the first time(8/6/02)
McGaa officially launches Senate campaign (8/5/02)
Wellstone paints Coleman with a 'big business' brush (7/30/02)
Coleman, Wellstone battle over national defense (7/24/02)
Wellstone, Coleman locked in tight money race too (7/16/02)
Moore endorsed by Independence Party (7/15/02)
Independence Party has Senate battle of its own (7/9/02)
In scandals' wake, corporate responsibility becomes issue in Senate race (7/8/02)
Now an 'official' candidate, Coleman opens fire on Wellstone over taxes (7/2/02)
Ad war breaks out in Senate race (6/28/02)
First attack ad targets Wellstone (6/21/02)
Coleman accepts convention endorsement (6/14/02)
Senate candidate camps debate Coleman education ad (6/3/02)
Rural Minnesota could be battleground in Coleman's Senate race (6/3/02)
Wellstone officially launches re-election effort (5/28/02)
Pentel, McGaa get major Green Party endorsements (5/20/02)
Crusader becomes campaign issue (5/9/02)
Wellstone endorsed by DFL (5/4/02)
Adwatch: Claiming credit (4/19/02)
Wellstone may be in trouble; candidates scramble for cash (4/16/2002)
Coleman asks for cap on out-of-state money (3/20/02)
Bush raises $1 million for Coleman (3/4/02)
Wellstone has 'mild form' of MS (2/24/02)
Money, broken pledge likely to dominate Wellstone bid (2/11/02)
Coleman jumps into the race (2/11/02)
The money chase (1/31/02)
Bush visit is start of Senate campaign