Rebecca Otto

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Rebecca Otto
Rebecca Otto.jpg
Minnesota State Auditor
In office
2007 - Present
Term ends
January 2019
Years in position 8
PredecessorPatricia Anderson (R)
Base salary$101,858
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First elected2006
Campaign $$610,985
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Minnesota House of Representatives
February 2003 - 2004
Bachelor'sMacalester College
Master'sUniversity of Minnesota
Date of birthJuly 9, 1963
ProfessionSmall Business Owner/Teacher
Office website
Campaign website
Rebecca Otto campaign logo
Rebecca Otto (b. July 9, 1963) is the 18th and current Minnesota State Auditor. Otto, a Democrat, was first elected in 2006.[1] Otto ran succesfully for re-election in 2014, and began her third four-year term as state auditor on January 5, 2015.[2]


Otto taught seventh-grade science in public schools for five years. A successful businesswoman, Otto left a career as president of a 50-employee business to devote her time to public service.[1]


  • B.A. in biology from Macalester College[1]
  • Master’s degree in education from the University of Minnesota

Political career

Minnesota State Auditor (2007-Present)

Otto has served as Auditor of State of Minnesota from 2007 until present.[3]

Minnesota House of Representatives (2003-2004)

Otto served as a representative in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2003 to 2004 after being elected in a special election in February 2003.[3]



See also Minnesota down ballot state executive elections, 2014

Otto ran for re-election in 2014.[2] She won the Democratic nomination in the primary on August 12, 2014.[4] The general election took place November 4, 2014.


Minnesota Auditor, Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngRebecca Otto 80.9% 149,628
Matt Entenza 19.1% 35,258
Total Votes 184,886
Election Results via Minnesota Secretary of State.
General election
Minnesota Auditor, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRebecca Otto Incumbent 51.5% 988,102
     Republican Randy Gilbert 40% 766,814
     Independence Patrick Dean 4% 76,845
     Grassroots Party Judith Schwartzbacker 2.9% 55,132
     Libertarian Keegan Iversen 1.6% 30,397
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0% 800
Total Votes 1,918,090
Election Results via Minnesota Secretary of State.

Voter ID complaint

Otto faced a complaint from primary challenger Matt Entenza regarding her position on a 2003 bill dealing with voter identification requirements. Entenza claimed that Otto supported a voter ID bill in the Minnesota House of Representatives, while stating in her 2014 campaign materials that she always opposed voter ID requirements. A panel of three judges with the Office of Administrative Hearings dismissed the case on July 24, 2014, citing a lack of disputed facts from Entenza's lawyers. The panel determined that the only issue separating Otto and Entenza was "confusion over the term 'voter ID.'"[5]

Campaign themes

Standing up for taxpayers
  • Rebecca stands up for the best interests of Minnesota taxpayers.
  • She does her job without fear or favor.
  • She provides accountability so citizens can trust government.
  • She is a fiduciary for more than $73 billion in state investments.
  • She serves on the Public Employees Retirement Association board, and fights the assault on public pensions.
  • She oversees more than $20 billion in local government spending.
  • She exposed the state's dumping of its deficit onto our property taxes.
  • She works to improve efficiency, transparency, and accountability.


—Rebecca Otto's campaign website, (2014) [7]

Nonferrous mining

As State Auditor, Rebecca is not pro-mining or anti-mining; she is pro-taxpayer. It is part of the State Auditor's job to watch out for the best interests of Minnesota taxpayers and make certain they are not left holding the bag after a nonferrous mine closes. The State Auditor sits on the State Executive Council, where in 2013 she voted against the approval of 31 leases to mine nonferrous minerals because of potential taxpayer exposure to cleanup costs. Rebecca is pushing for an open and transparent process when it comes to the setting of financial assurances for new copper mines, which are like damage deposits, so that taxpayers are protected.


—Rebecca Otto's campaign website, (2014) [7]

Improving performance

Rebecca promotes efficient, effective service delivery by our local governments, whether it be maintaining streets and highways, providing firefighting services, or public safety.

The State Auditor publishes a performance measurement report that shows how well residents feel their cities and counties are doing in a variety of key areas. This helps cities and counties do a better job of providing the services people value most.

The State Auditor issues Best Practices Reviews to help local governments improve their delivery of services. During the economic downturn, Rebecca decided to issue a review on reducing energy costs in local government, which won the National Excellence in Accountability Award.


—Rebecca Otto's campaign website, (2014) [7]

Public safety

The Metro Gang Strike Force debacle

Did not control access to their property and evidence room.

Rebecca worked with law enforcement agencies across the state to develop a best practices review on developing policy and procedures manuals for their property and evidence rooms. The result: the report is being used state-wide and nationally by law enforcement agencies to help protect the chain of custody of evidence, helping to protect the integrity of our justice system.


—Rebecca Otto's campaign website, (2014) [7]


Rebecca is defending Minnesota's taxpayers from the assault on public pensions. Groups aligned with the private 401(k) industry want to line their pockets by doing away with public pensions, and moving public employees into riskier and more expensive 401(k)s. The groups are spreading disinformation, claiming that Minnesota will be "the next Detroit." Nothing could be further from the truth. The true risk is that people with poorly performing 401(k)s will wind up coming back to the taxpayers, because we don't want poverty in our senior population.


—Rebecca Otto's campaign website, (2014) [7]

Affordable housing

As State Auditor, Rebecca Otto serves on the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) board. Her leadership over the last eight years has helped guide it to nation-leading success. MHFA finances safe, clean, affordable housing for our low- to moderate-income Minnesotans, and to foster stronger communities. This can include housing for our seniors, our veterans, our families with single parents, and many others. During the housing market crisis, Rebecca pushed for measures that would keep Minnesotans in their homes. Rebecca understands the importance of housing stability for the success of our children in school and of workers on the job.


—Rebecca Otto's campaign website, (2014) [7]


Volunteer Fire Relief Associations

Antiquated laws that created compliance and oversight issues

Rebecca convened and chaired a firefighter working group that, under her leadership, has been able to overhaul laws around volunteer firefighter relief associations that hadn't been looked at in over 30 years, greatly strengthening our mostly volunteer firefighter system throughout Minnesota. The Minnesota State Fire Chiefs recognized her work with their top award.


—Rebecca Otto's campaign website, (2014) [7]


With your support, Rebecca Otto has become one of the most prominent financial leaders in the United States. In 2009, she won the National Excellence in Accountability Award. In 2013 she was named president of the National State Auditors Association. In 2014, the American Center for Government Auditing named her one of the 15 most influential professionals in government auditing at all levels, citing her "courage and integrity necessary to face difficult situations, and willingness to call out opportunities to improve efficiency and effectiveness in government operations, even when doing so may not be popular or may incur strong opposition from those in power." She is the first female democrat to be elected Minnesota State Auditor, the first democrat to be re-elected, and one of only 7 elected women state auditors nationwide. She has an open-door policy and lets young people shadow her to learn about public service.


—Rebecca Otto's campaign website, (2014) [7]


Remember your Uncle Arnie, who kept coffee cans full of old bent nails and bolts on the garage shelf because he never knew when he might need one? Rebecca and her husband Shawn do that. The old Minnesota ethic of waste not-want not and efficiency runs throughout their lives, from building their home themselves, to the use of wind power and superinsulation to generate and save energy, to Rebecca's focus on efficiency at the office, which allowed her to expand the office's investigations while cutting her own budget. Being green and saving green are conservative values that make for a great State Auditor. [6]

—Rebecca Otto's campaign website, (2014) [7]

Campaign media


Matt Entenza ad.

Rebecca Otto ad.


Otto narrowly won re-election as state auditor in the November 2010 election, defeating Patricia Anderson (R), Annie Young (G) and Kenny Kalligher (Grassroots).[8]

Minnesota State Auditor (2010)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Rebecca Otto (D) 981,822 48.39%
Patricia Anderson (R) 956,339 47.13%
Annie Young (Green) 54,154 2.67%
Kenny Kalligher (Grassroots) 35,548 1.75%
Write-In 1,224 0.06%

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Otto is available dating back to 2002. Based on available campaign finance records, Otto raised a total of $610,985 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 12, 2013.[9]

Rebecca Otto's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Minnesota Auditor Not up for election $3,276
2010 Minnesota Auditor Won $242,127
2008 Minnesota Auditor Not up for election $14,967
2006 Minnesota Auditor Won $229,529
2004 Minnesota State House District 52B Defeated $97,077
2002 Minnesota State House District 52B Defeated $24,009
Grand Total Raised $610,985

2006 and 2010

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Rebecca Otto's donors each year.[10] Click [show] for more information.

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See also

External links


Political offices
Preceded by
Patricia Anderson (R)
Minnesota State Auditor
Succeeded by