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Michelle Benson

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Michelle Benson
Michelle Benson.jpg
Minnesota State Senate, District 31
In office
2011 - present
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 4
Base salary$31,140.90/year
Per diem$86/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sCollege of Saint Catherine
Master'sUniversity of Saint Thomas
ProfessionCertified Public Accountant
Office website
Campaign website
Michelle R. Benson is a Republican member of the Minnesota State Senate, representing District 31. She was first elected to the chamber in 2010.


Benson earned her bachelor's degree in Chemistry from St. Catherine's University with a degree in Chemistry and her M.B.A. from St. Thomas University. Her professional experience includes working as a Certified Public Accountant and project manager.

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Benson served on the following committees:

Minnesota Committee Assignments, 2013
Environment and Energy
Health, Human Services and Housing


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Benson served on the following committees:


Campaign themes


Benson's website highlighted the following campaign themes:[1]

Jobs and the Economy

  • Excerpt:"Job stability, unemployment, and under-employment are the biggest concerns for the people I meet. No politician can provide the answer to our employment challenge. It is my belief that entrepreneurs and innovators in the private sector will be our best source of new jobs. When we encourage the private sector, jobs will follow. "


  • Excerpt:"There is plenty of money to run the State of Minnesota. Instead of a tax increase, we need to lower and simplify taxes so we can get out of the way of entrepreneurs and get our economy rolling again! "


  • Excerpt:"Though we have the highest SAT scores in the country, we also rank among the top regarding minority disparity. Our funding formula for education was built based on politics that has created these funding disparities. As a nation, our math and science scores keep slipping. We cannot continue to support the status quo. "

Voter ID

  • Excerpt:"When Georgia and Indiana implemented Voter ID, minority participation in voting actually increased over prior elections."


  • Excerpt:"Unborn children are the most innocent and helpless people. We must be their voice and protect their right to be born."



See also: Minnesota State Senate elections, 2012

Benson won election in District 31 in 2012 due to redistricting. She was unopposed in the August 14 Republican primary and defeated Mike Starr (D) in the general election on November 6.[2]

Minnesota State Senate, District 31, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMichelle Benson Incumbent 58.7% 24,774
     Democratic Mike Starr 41.3% 17,423
Total Votes 42,197


See also: Minnesota State Senate elections, 2010

Benson had no opponent in the primary. She defeated Paul Meunier (DFL) in the general election.[3]

Minnesota State Senate, District 49 (2010)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Michelle Benson (R) 19979 60.33%
Paul Meunier (DFL) 13102 39.56%
Write-In 37 0.11%

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Benson is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Benson raised a total of $85,505 during that time period. This information was last updated on December 21, 2013.[4]

Michelle Benson's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Minnesota Senate, District 31 Won $32,798
2010 Minnesota Senate, District 49 Won $52,707
Grand Total Raised $85,505


Benson won re-election to the Minnesota State Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Benson raised a total of $39,798.
Minnesota State Senate 2012 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Michelle Benson's campaign in 2012
Public Fund$7,457
Benson, Michelle$2,533
31st Senate District Republican Party of Minnesota New$1,000
Hoffman, Gretchen$500
Cummins, Robert$500
Total Raised in 2012$39,798
Source:Follow the Money


In 2010, Benson raised $52,707 in contributions.[5]

Her four largest contributors were:

Donor Amount
Public Fund $12,899
Benson, Michelle $3,220
Senate District 49 $1,542
Senate District 49 $1,000


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Minnesota

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Texas scorecards, email suggestions to

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.


In 2014, the Legislature was in session from February 25 through May 19.

Legislators are scored on bills of interest to an organization advocating "limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty."[6]
Legislators are scored on pro-choice issues.


In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 8 to May 20.

Legislators are scored "on key votes on issues concerning economic freedom, which includes taxes, budgets and spending, health care and more."[7]
Legislators are scored on votes of interest to a socially conservative "pro-family" organization.[8]
Legislators are scored on "a wide range of issues including taxes, government spending, elections, childcare unionization, property rights and energy policy" per "the traditional values position."[9]
Legislators are scored on votes of interest to an economically conservative organization.
Legislators are scored on votes regarding reproductive issues.

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."[10]


Benson received a score of 100% in the 2013 scorecard, ranking 5th out of all 67 Minnesota State Senate members.[11]


Benson received a score of 86% in the 2012 scorecard, ranking 13th out of all 67 Minnesota State Senate members.[12]


Benson received a score of 85% in the 2011 scorecard, ranking 11th out of all 67 Minnesota State Senate members.[13]


Benson and her husband, Craig, have two children.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Michelle + Benson + Minnesota + Senate

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Michelle Benson News Feed

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External links

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Political offices
Preceded by
Jeremy Miller (R)
Minnesota State Senate District 31
2013- present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Debbie Johnson (R)
Minnesota State Senate District 49
Succeeded by
Melisa Franzen (DFL)