Norm Coleman

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Norm Coleman
Norm Coleman.jpg
U.S. Senate, Minnesota
Retired Officeholder
In office
January 3, 2003-January 3, 2009
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2008
First electedNovember 2002
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota
Solicitor General for Minnesota Attorney General
High schoolJames Madison High School
Bachelor'sHofstra University (1971)
J.D.University of Iowa College of Law (1976)
Date of birthAugust 17, 1949
Place of birthBrooklyn, New York
Personal website
Campaign website
Norm Coleman (b. August 17, 1949 in Brooklyn, New York) is a former Republican member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Minnesota. Coleman was first elected to the Senate in 2002. He left office in 2009 after a controversial re-election race against Democratic challenger Al Franken that took roughly 8 months to resolve. On June 30, 2009 the Minnesota Supreme Court declared Democrat Al Franken the victor by a razor thin margin of votes.[1][2] Prior to joining the U.S. Senate, Coleman served as the Mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota from 1993-2001. He was first elected as a Democrat, but switched his party affiliation to Republican in 1996.


Coleman was born and raised in New York City. After graduating from James Madison High School in Brooklyn, he attended Hofstra University for his bachelor's degree in political science. He spent his first two years of law school at Brooklyn Law School but completed his Juris Doctor at the University of Iowa College of Law in 1976. Coleman launched his legal career as a prosecutor with the Minnesota Attorney General's office. By the time he was elected the Mayor of Saint Paul in 1992, Coleman had risen remarkably in the office's ranks, having been promoted to chief prosecutor and ultimately solicitor general.[3]

Coleman was a member of the Democratic Party when he was originally elected Mayor of St. Paul. He became a Republican in 1996, and retained that party affiliation throughout his tenure in the U.S. Senate, up to the present.


Below is an abbreviated outline of Coleman's professional and political career:[3][4]



See also: Minnesota gubernatorial election, 2014 and United States Senate elections in Minnesota, 2014

Coleman was considered a potential 2014 candidate for Governor of Minnesota as well as the U.S. Senate -- the latter would have set up a rematch between Coleman and Sen. Al Franken, who unseated him in 2008 -- but he ultimately decided against both races by March 2013.[5][6]


On November 4, 2008, Coleman lost his bid for re-election to the U.S. Senate to Democratic challenger Al Franken. Franken won election after a lengthy hand recount that did not declare him the winner until after June of 2009.[7][8]

U.S. Senate General Election, Minnesota, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngAl Franken 42% 1,212,629
     Republican Norm Coleman Incumbent 42% 1,212,317
     Independent Dean Barkley 15.2% 437,505
     Libertarian Charles Aldrich 0.5% 13,923
     Constitution James Niemackl 0.3% 8,907
     Independent Michael Cavlan 0% 13
     Independent Anthony Keith Price 0% 12
     Independent Write-In 0.1% 2,340
Total Votes 2,887,646


Coleman and his wife Laurie reside in St. Paul, Minnesota. They have four children together.[3]

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Political offices
Preceded by
Dean Barkely (I)
U.S. Senate - Minnesota
Succeeded by
Al Franken (D)