Public service defines Tim Walz. FROM TEACHING HIGH SCHOOL AND COACHING FOOTBALL TO SERVING IN THE NATIONAL GUARD
Tim’s career has been defined by public service, from serving in the National Guard for 24 years, to serving our students as a high school teacher and football coach, to serving our state as a Congressman, and now as Minnesota’s 41st Governor.
Tim’s parents, Jim and Darlene, instilled in him the values that continue to guide his commitment to the common good and selfless service. Summers working on his family’s farm reinforced these lessons.
As governor during an unprecedented global crisis, Tim’s decisive actions saved lives, made Minnesota’s COVID-19 response a national model, and put our state on the path to recovery.
While leading the Upper Midwest in the percentage of the population fully vaccinated, Tim provided over $100 million in loans and grants to help restaurants, cafes, barbershops, and other small businesses weather the pandemic. And in every one of the budgets he signed, Tim cut people’s taxes, including in the most recent budget which provided over a billion dollars in tax relief for businesses and individuals who needed help during the pandemic.
During his first term, Tim signed two education budget bills providing historic investments in our schools, helping our students recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and receive a quality education to ensure they succeed for years to come.
The Walz Administration established the One Minnesota Council on Inclusion and Equity to create a more equitable state and ensure that the people most affected by policies have a seat at the table and a voice in decision making. After Republicans in the legislature blocked the bill, Tim took action to protect LGBTQ+ Minnesotans from the harmful and discredited practice of “conversion therapy.” Tim also signed a hands-free driving bill into law, prohibiting the use of handheld cell phones while driving, to reduce distracted driving and save lives.
Despite Republican efforts to end the program, Tim and Peggy fought hard to preserve the Health Care Access Fund that over a million Minnesotans rely on for affordable and accessible health care.
Climate change is an urgent and existential threat to the things we love about living in Minnesota. That’s why Tim and Peggy took urgent action to tackle climate change by establishing the Climate Change Subcabinet, the Governor’s Advisory Council on Climate Change, and directing the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to implement clean car standards.
Tim’s dedication to public service began soon after graduation from high school, where at the age of 17, Tim enlisted in the Army National Guard. In 1989, he was named Nebraska Citizen-Soldier of the Year.
Upon his 1990 return from teaching in China, Tim served full-time in the Army National Guard. He joined his battalion overseas in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2005, after 24 years in the Army National Guard, Command Sergeant Major Walz retired from the 1-125th Field Artillery Battalion. When he retired, Tim was the highest-ranking enlisted National Guard soldier in southern Minnesota.
After high school, Tim held a series of odd jobs ranging from building grain silos to manufacturing to mortgage loan processing as he explored America. He accepted a temporary teaching position at the Native American Reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. It was this experience that convinced Tim to follow his father’s lead and become a teacher.
Tim attended Chadron State College, where he graduated with a social science degree in 1989. Harvard University offered Tim an opportunity to gain a new perspective on global education when he joined one of the first government-approved groups of American teachers to work in Chinese high schools.
After years teaching overseas, Tim returned to Nebraska, where he accepted a teaching and coaching position. More importantly, he met Gwen Whipple, who was teaching at the same school.
In 1993, Tim was named the Outstanding Young Nebraskan by the Nebraska Junior Chamber of Commerce for his service in the education, military, and small-business communities.
Tim and Gwen Walz moved to Mankato in 1996, where they began teaching and coaching at Mankato West High School. In addition to teaching social studies, Tim helped coach the Mankato West football team that won the school’s first state championship.
After years of living in Mankato, Tim and Gwen moved to St. Paul with their two children, Hope and Gus, and their rescue pets, Scout and Afton.
Tim won his first election to the United States House of Representatives in 2006. Bringing an authentic voice of the people to Washington and combining a Midwestern work ethic with political pragmatism, Tim brought solid and sensible leadership to Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District.
In Congress, Tim introduced the STOCK Act, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both the House and Senate and sought to limit congressional insider trading. He also introduced a bill to help reduce the number of veteran suicides passed both the House and Senate unanimously and was signed by President Obama.