Bobby Joe Champion

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Bobby Joe Champion
Minnesota State Senate, District 59
In office
January 8, 2013 - present
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 1
Base salary$31,140.90/year
Per diem$96/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Minnesota House of Representatives, District 58B
2009 - 2013
Bachelor'sMacalester College
J.D.William Mitchell College of Law
BirthdayDecember 17, 1963
Office website
Campaign website
Bobby Joe Champion (b. December 17, 1963) is a Democratic-Farmer Labor member of the Minnesota State Senate, representing District 59. He was first elected to the chamber in 2012.

Champion served in the Minnesota House of Representatives, representing District 58B from 2009 to 2013.


Champion earned his B.A. in Political Science from Macalester College, and his J.D. from the William Mitchell College of Law. His professional experience includes working as a practicing attorney, Assistant Attorney General, and attorney for the Legal Rights Center; and and in the music industry for Flyte Tyme Productions.[1]

Committee assignments


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

Minnesota Committee Assignments, 2013
Capital Investment
Finance, Vice-chair
Transportation and Public Safety


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


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Champion served on the following committees:


Campaign themes


Champion's website highlighted the following campaign themes:[2]


  • Excerpt: "Boby (sic) Joe Champion is proud of his 96% lifetime voting record with the Minnesota AFL-CIO and is a strong voice for working families in the Minnesota legislature. Creating good jobs in our community is Bobby Joe Champion's top priority."


  • Excerpt: "Quality public schools form the backbone of our community. The Minneapolis public schools continue to face challenges, many of them forced onto us by the state's unwillingness to properly fund our schools. Bobby Joe Champion is an advocate for early childhood education programs, keeping our North Minneapolis schools open, closing the achievement gap, lowering class sizes, and ensuring teachers have the resources they need to educate the diverse student population of our district."

Health Care

  • Excerpt: "The federal health care law has made many important improvements in our health care system. Here in Minnesota, it has allowed us to insure 95,000 more Minnesotans. However, there are still more than 46 million Americans without health care insurance, and roughly 500,000 just in Minnesota."


  • Excerpt: "Home foreclosures continue to rip apart our neighborhoods in North Minneapolis. This is an issue that has affected everyone in North Minneapolis, whether you were foreclosed on, or if you have seen boarded up houses depress the value of your home. "

Election history


See also: Minnesota State Senate elections, 2012

In November 2011, Champion announced he would run for state Senate District 58 in 2012. Current DFL incumbent Linda Higgins announced she will not be seeking re-election. Champion was unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 14 and defeated Jim Lilly (R) in the general election on November 6.[3][4]

Minnesota State Senate, District 59, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBobby Champion 82.4% 28,411
     Republican Jim Lilly 17.6% 6,082
Total Votes 34,493


See also: Minnesota House of Representatives elections, 2010

Champion won re-election to the District 58B Seat in 2010. He had no primary opposition. He defeated Gary Mazzotta (R) in the general election on November 2, 2010.[5]

Minnesota House of Representatives, District 58B (2010)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Bobby Joe Champion (DFL) 6,990 80.79%
Gary Mazzotta (R) 1,636 18.91%
Write-In 26 0.3%


On November 4, 2008, Champion won election to the District 58B Seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives, defeating Yoman Brunson, Roger Smithrud, and Ken Lawrence. [6]

Champion raised $19,919 for his campaign.[7]

Minnesota House of Representatives, District 58B (2008)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Bobby Joe Champion (DFL) 11,960 80.36%
Yoman Brunson (R) 1,912 12.85%
Roger Smithrud (I) 939 6.31%
Write-In 70 0.47%
Ken Lawrence 2 0.01%

Campaign donors


Campaign donor information is not yet available for this year.


In 2010, Champion received $16,994 in campaign donations. The largest donors are listed below.[8]

Minnesota House of Representatives 2010 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Bobby Joe Champion's campaign in 2010
Public Fund$7,569
Champion, Bobby J$1,287
Minnesota Teachers Retirement Association$600
Minneapolis Federation Of Teachers Local 59$600
Minnesota Association Of Realtors$600
Total Raised in 2010 $16,994


Champion is married with three children. He has been the Director of Excelsior Choir (which he co-founded), Executive Director of the Midwest Chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors, and Program Director of Social Spaces with Stairstep Initiative.

External links

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Political offices
Preceded by
Kari Dziedzic (DFL)
Minnesota State Senate District 59
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Minnesota House of Representatives District 58B
Succeeded by
Pat Garofalo (R)