Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Thomas M. Bakk (Cook) announced his candidacy for Governor on June 7. Bakk was elected to the Minnesota State Senate in November 2002. Prior to his election to the Senate, Bakk served in the Minnesota House of Representatives for four terms. Senator Bakk was elected to chair the Tax Committee in the Minnesota Senate in 2006. He also serves on the Rules and Administration, Business, Industry and Jobs and the Environment, Energy and Budget Committees.
"Minnesota needs to move in a new direction towards prosperity, job growth and security," Bakk said. "Too many Minnesotans are losing their jobs, homes, and health insurance. I am determined to turn Minnesota around, restore balance, fairness and common sense to our economic policies."
In addition to his role as a legislator, Bakk recently retired as a labor representative for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. Working as a journeyman carpenter for 11 years, Bakk was elected to lead his union in 1987. Since then, he has served on many boards and organizations that seek to further the natural resource-based economy in Minnesota as well as the quality of life. Bakk is the past president of the Iron Range Building Trades and a former volunteer firefighter.
Currently, Bakk sits on the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) Board of Directors and the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB). Bakk has also been appointed to various national committees including the Midwestern Legislative Conference: Economic Development, Technology and Labor Committee and the National Conference of State Legislators: Labor and Workforce Development Committee. In recognition to his expertise in handling business and labor issues, Bakk was appointed by Gov. Pawlenty to sit on the state's Workforce Development Council.
Bakk has worked diligently to bring more value-added jobs to Minnesota and is committed to continuing those efforts as Minnesota's next governor. In recent years, Bakk has worked to find economic answers for the workers who lost their jobs at the LTV mine in the Aurora-Hoyt Lakes area.
"The key to growing jobs in Minnesota is supporting initiatives to help businesses grow," Bakk said. "A strong business climate is critical to create more jobs. While management, labor and government have a shared interest in keeping our businesses prosperous, the benefits that come from that cooperation must also be shared. It makes little sense to stimulate development of businesses that pay inadequate wages, offer few if any benefits to their employees and leave Minnesota taxpayers picking up the tab for irresponsible management decisions."
Bakk earned an associates degree at Mesabi Community College and a baccalaureate degree in business administration at University of Minnesota-Duluth. He resides on Lake Vermilion near Cook, Minnesota with his wife Laura. They have four adult children.