Mary Jo McGuire

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Mary Jo McGuire
Minnesota State Senate District 66
Former Member
In office
2011 - 2013
Elections and appointments
Last electionApril 12, 2011
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sCollege of Saint Catherine
Master'sHarvard, John F. Kennedy School of Government
J.D.Hamline University School of Law
Date of birthJuly 7, 1956
Place of birthFalcon Heights, MN
ProfessionAttorney/Adjunct Professor
Mary Jo McGuire is a former Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party member of the Minnesota State Senate, representing District 66 from 2011 to 2013. She was first elected to the chamber after she won a special election on April 12, 2011. McGuire was elected to fill the vacancy created when Ellen Anderson (DFL) resigned to serve as chair of the Public Utilities Commission.


McGuire is currently a professor of educational management at St. Catherine's University where she first graduated. She received her Master's in Public Administration from Harvard University and her law degree from Hamline University. Prior to teaching at St. Catherine's University, she worked as a criminal investigator with the St. Paul City Attorney's Office and served in the Minnesota State Legislature for 14 years. She has also worked as Director of the Neighborhood Mediation Project. McGuire is a life-long resident of Falcon Heights.[1]


Campaign themes


McGuire's campaign site (dead link) highlighted her campaign themes:

  • Education: "Mary Jo has always been at the forefront of the early childhood movement. Before many understood the importance of early learning, she was working tirelessly to increase funding for quality child care, the Early Childhood and Family Education (ECFE) program, Head Start and Early Head Start, as well as improving afterschool programming for learners throughout the state. Mary Jo successfully advocated for better linkages between our K-12 and early childhood education programs, and supported efforts to ensure that every young child is provided quality learning experiences in their early years in order to enter Kindergarten ready to learn."
  • Children and Families: "As an advocate for children and families, Mary Jo has always been concerned about the increasing rate of domestic violence in our communities. During her previous legislative serivce, she was the chief author of the anti-stalking law which makes it a felony to repeatedly stalk or harass another person. She has worked to strengthen penalties for career criminals, including dangerous repeat sex offenders, and has also supported investments in efforts designed to prevent crime and keep young people out of the workhouse and in the workforce."
  • Environment: "Renewable energy sources like wind energy, solar energy and next generation biomass could power our homes and businesses, create jobs that won’t be outsourced, keep dollars spent on energy circulating right here in our local economy and protect our environment for our children and grandchildren... Mary Jo knows how communities can come together to protect the purity of water for drinking, recreation and healthy ecosystems, and Minnesota needs her voice to be heard in the Senate, before it is too late... With 40 percent of our state’s tested waterways already polluted, there is no time to wait to take action against reckless development and opposition to polluters who would weaken the Clean Water Act. Mary Jo will vote to protect our precious waters... The good news about climate change, which Mary Jo recognizes as one of the most profound threats of our time, is that the solutions will drive innovation, create more livable communities and improve human health, as well as the health of the planet. Clean, green solutions will also reduce our dependence on oil, save consumers money, create jobs, and reduce air pollution."
  • Healthy Economy: Times are tough. Financial resources are limited, not only at the state level but at the local level - and at the family level - as well. And while tough times require tough decisions, those decisions have to be made through honest discussion and with specific consideration of the practical, long-term consequences of our actions. Mary Jo supports both targeted spending cuts - and targeted revenue increases - as a means of solving the state's current fiscal crisis. She will work to ensure that cuts are made in a way that protects the most vulnerable in our communities, and that revenues are raised in the most equitable manner possible."



See also: State legislative special elections, 2011

McGuire defeated Greg Copeland (R) in the April 12, 2011 election.[2][3][4]


Taxpayers League of Minnesota

The Taxpayers League of Minnesota, a Minnesota-based taxpayer advocacy organization, releases a legislative scorecard for the Minnesota House of Representatives and Minnesota State Senate once a year. The scorecard gives each legislator a score based on how they voted in the prior legislative term on tax issues and “their efforts to balance the state budget without a tax increase.” The organization also compiles a legislator’s individual "Lifetime Score."[5]


McGuire received a score of 29% in the 2012 scorecard, ranking 44th out of all 67 Minnesota State Senate members.[6]


McGuire received a score of 8% in the 2011 scorecard, ranking 47th out of all 67 Minnesota State Senate members.[7]

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Political offices
Preceded by
Ellen Anderson
Minnesota State Senate District 66
Succeeded by
John Marty (DFL)