Former Minnesota Gov. Al Quie passes away at 99, leaving a lasting legacy

By | August 19, 2023



death – Obituary News : Al Quie, a former congressman and governor of Minnesota, passed away on August 18 at the age of 99. Known for his stoic Norwegian demeanor and deep Lutheran faith, Quie died at his home in Wayzata, surrounded by his family. Throughout his political career, which spanned over two decades, Quie never lost an election and was able to win over voters from both parties.

Quie, a third-generation dairy farmer and lifelong Republican, rose from small-town Minnesota politics to become a powerful congressman. He represented southern Minnesota in Congress for 20 years before returning home to serve one term as governor. In a surprising turn of events, Quie ousted an incumbent DFL governor in an election that became known as the Minnesota Massacre. This sweeping ouster of the state’s Democratic leadership was seen as a bellwether for the 1980 general election and the Reagan years to come.

Despite representing a party and a political era that became a distant memory later in his life, Quie worked across the aisle throughout his career. He focused particularly on agriculture and education, winning over both Republican and Democratic voters with his broad appeal. Chuck Slocum, a former political adviser, described Quie as “the guy with broad appeal” and stated that people who knew him liked and trusted him.

Quie’s humble faith informed every aspect of his life. During his 1978 run for governor, he rejected reports that he believed God had called him to run and that he flaunted his faith on the campaign trail. Quie emphasized that while he believed God wanted him to serve, he did not view it as a magical directive. Rather, he believed that God worked in his life in more subtle ways.

Born on September 18, 1923, on a farm in Rice County’s Wheeling Township, Quie grew up riding horses and playing pranks with his brother, Paul. He fought in World War II and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943. After the war, Quie and his brother alternated attending school so that one of them could stay on the farm and help their father, who had lost an arm in a farming accident.

Quie’s political career began when he won a seat in the state Legislature in 1954. A few years later, he ran for a seat in Congress and won, becoming a representative for Minnesota’s First Congressional District. Quie served in Congress until 1978, when he decided to run for governor. He defeated the incumbent DFL governor, Rudy Perpich, and won with 53% of the vote.


However, Quie’s term as governor was not without challenges. He faced criticism for establishing a “key club” that promised his time to wealthy donors and for leading a horseback ride through a state park where horses were prohibited for conservation reasons. Additionally, budget troubles and poor financial advice plagued his time in office, forcing him to go back on his campaign pledge to cut taxes.

As he neared the end of his term, Quie’s popularity declined, and he announced in January that he would not seek a second term. Despite the challenges he faced, Quie left a lasting impact on Minnesota politics. He was remembered as a man of integrity and faith, who worked tirelessly to serve his constituents and build bridges between political parties.

Quie is survived by his son, Joel, and his wife, Gretchen Hansen. He will be remembered as a dedicated public servant and a respected figure in Minnesota politics..

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