Mark Dayton – Biographical Profile and Positions on the Issues

Currently Elected Governor & Lt Governor, Minnesota

Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
BHW Federal Building, 1 Federal Dr. Suite 298Fort Snelling, MN 55111
General (political statement of goals, objectives, views, philosophies)

On January 3, 2001, Dayton was sworn in as the 33rd Senator from Minnesota and as the 1,846th Senator in the nation's history.

Mark serves on four Senate Committees including Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry; Armed Services; Governmental Affairs; and Rules. He is also a member of the House-Senate Joint Committee on Printing, which he chaired in 2003.


Mark continues to advocate strongly for Minnesota 's family farms and rural communities.


Mark continues to focus on America's economic growth and is committed to making sure that every American able to work has a well-paying job.


Mark continues to be a strong advocate and supporter of all branches of the U.S. military.


Mark recognizes the importance of a strong and vibrant United States economy.


Mark continues to support the right of all children throughout the nation to a free and proper public education.


Mark strongly believes that our precious natural resources, in Minnesota and throughout our country, are a treasure to be preserved.

Health Care

Mark continues to advocate vigorously for greater access to affordable health care for Minnesotans' and Americans'.


Mark strongly believes that transportation funding is an investment in Minnesota's future economic development and quality of life.


Mark considers it to be a top priority to make certain that Minnesota's veterans and military retirees receive access to quality health care and benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Personal (gender, age, marital status, spouse's name and age, children's name and ages, home town, current residence)

Born January 26, 1947 , Mark is the eldest of four children born to former Dayton Hudson Corp. Chairman Bruce Dayton and the late Gwendolen Brandt Dayton. In 1978, Mark married Alida Rockefeller, whose brother, Senator Jay Rockefeller, is currently one of Mark's Senate colleagues. They have two sons: Eric, age 23, and Andrew, age 20. Alida and Mark were divorced eight years later; however, they remain dedicated parents and close friends.

Education (times and places of schools, colleges, major, degrees, activities, sports)

1969 -- Yale University, major in psychology (graduated cum laude, played varsity hockey, completed pre-med course requirements)

1965 -- Blake School in Minneapolis (graduated cum laude; was a hockey fanatic, got a place on Blake's "All State" first team in his senior year)

Long Lake Elementary School in Hennepin County

Profession (professional and work experience outside politics)

1970 -- Taught at P.S. 65, a tough school on New York's Lower East Side;

Counselor for runaways;

Chief financial officer of a Boston social service agency;

1975 -- Served as staff member of then-Minnesota Senator Walter Mondale. He focused on education, children and youth, and small business;

1976 -- Joined the campaign of Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter when he selected Senator Mondale as his running mate. At the campaign headquarters in Atlanta, he worked as a driver, midnight-to-dawn telecopy operator, and all-around go-fer;

1977 -- Returned to Minnesota to work for incoming-Governor Rudy Perpich and was asked to head the Minnesota Department of Economic Development. He served in that position for nearly two years;

1983 -- Appointed Commissioner of an expanded Minnesota Department of Energy and Economic Development;

1987 - Founded the Vermilion Investment Company;

1994 - Co-chaired the Reelection Committee of his long-time friend, Senator Paul Wellstone, and served as its Finance Chairman.

Civic (past and present organizations, charities involvement)

1979 -- Founded and led the Minnesota Project, an economic development and public policy organization that supports the social, environmental and economic health of Greater Minnesota communities.

2000 - After hearing from hundreds of Minnesotans during his gubernatorial campaign, Mark launched a series of bus trips to Canada, funded by donated Senate salary, called the "Rx Express." These trips continue today to provide seniors with a way to buy much-needed prescription medicines at substantially lower prices. He also created the "Healthcare Help Line," which is in its fourth year of assisting Minnesotans with problems they have with their insurers.

Political (dates and titles of previously held political offices)

1982 -- Ran for the U.S. Senate but lost to incumbent Senator David Durenberger

1990 -- Elected State Auditor

1997 -- Launched campaign for Governor of Minnesota but lost in the DFL Primary to then-Attorney General Skip Humphrey

2000 -- Elected for the U.S. Senate

Religion (current and past religious affiliations, beliefs)


Accomplishments (significant accomplishments, awards, achievements)

Mark serves on four Senate Committees including Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry; Armed Services; Governmental Affairs; and Rules. He is also a member of the House-Senate Joint Committee on Printing, which he chaired in 2003.

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