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6 things to know about Tom Emmer, the latest Republican nominee for speaker

By CM Chaney · October 24, 2023

In brief…

  • Tom Emmer, the U.S. Representative for Minnesota's 6th congressional district, has had a diverse career in law, business, and politics.
  • Emmer's strong showing in the 2010 Minnesota gubernatorial race established him as a prominent conservative figure, known for advocating fiscal responsibility, tax cuts, and limited government.
  • On Tuesday, House Republicans chose Emmer of Minnesota, the party's third-ranking member, as their nominee for speaker after a series of five rounds of ballots.
On Tuesday, House Republicans chose Representative Tom Emmer of Minnesota (above), the party's third-ranking member, as their nominee for speaker after a series of five rounds of ballots.  Minnesota National Guard / Wikimedia

Tom Emmer is a well-known figure in Minnesota politics, serving as the U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 6th congressional district.

On Tuesday, House Republicans chose Representative Emmer of Minnesota, the party’s third-ranking member, as their nominee for speaker after a series of five rounds of ballots, highlighting a challenging road ahead.

This article delves into his background, political career, and key positions.

1. Early Life and Education

Born on March 3, 1961, in South Bend, Indiana, Emmer has had a long and varied career in law, business, and politics.

Emmer attended the University of Alaska for his undergraduate studies, earning a degree in political science. Afterward, he moved on to law school, studying at William Mitchell College of Law (now Mitchell Hamline School of Law) in St. Paul, Minnesota. Emmer’s educational background laid the foundation for his career in law and, eventually, politics.

2. Legal Career

Emmer worked as an attorney before entering politics. He practiced law in Minnesota, gaining experience in various aspects of the legal profession. His legal background provided him with valuable insights into the legislative process and the intricacies of the legal system.

3. Entry into Politics

Emmer’s political career took off in 2004 when he was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives, representing District 19B. He served in the state legislature for three consecutive terms, distinguishing himself as a staunch conservative with a strong commitment to individual liberties, limited government, and pro-life values.

In 2010, Emmer made a bid for the office of Governor of Minnesota, running as the Republican candidate. His campaign was marked by a commitment to fiscal responsibility, reducing government spending, and advocating for lower taxes. Though he lost the gubernatorial election to Mark Dayton, Emmer’s strong showing in a close race solidified his position as a prominent figure in Minnesota politics.

4. U.S. House of Representatives

Emmer’s political journey continued in 2014 when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He represents Minnesota’s 6th congressional district, which includes suburban and rural areas in the central part of the state. As a congressman, Emmer has been a vocal advocate for conservative principles and has consistently voted along party lines on key issues.

5. Key Positions and Advocacies

  1. Economic Policy: Emmer has consistently supported pro-business policies and tax cuts. He believes in reducing government regulations to foster economic growth and job creation. Emmer’s stance aligns with the traditional Republican emphasis on free-market capitalism.

  2. Immigration: He has been a vocal advocate for stricter immigration policies and border security, supporting President Trump’s position on these issues. He has expressed concerns about the impact of illegal immigration on national security and economic stability.

  3. Healthcare: Emmer has taken a conservative stance on healthcare, advocating for free-market solutions and opposing government intervention in the healthcare sector. He was a critic of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and has supported efforts to repeal and replace it.

  4. Second Amendment: Emmer is a staunch defender of Second Amendment rights, consistently voting in favor of protecting and expanding the rights of gun owners.

6. Committee Assignments

In the U.S. House of Representatives, Emmer has been an active member of various committees. He serves on the House Financial Services Committee, where he plays a role in shaping financial policy and legislation. Additionally, he is a member of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, demonstrating an interest in emerging technologies and their potential impact on the economy.