Connect with Margaret

Join the Campaign

About Margaret

Throughout her career, Margaret Anderson Kelliher has fought for the things that are most important to Minnesotans:  strong schools; quality, accessible health care, safe roads and bridges, and providing every Minnesotan with the opportunity to succeed. As a leader, Margaret has always put the needs of Minnesotans above partisan politics and has earned a reputation as a coalition builder.

Margaret is a lifelong Minnesotan with deep roots in the Minnesota River Valley.  The youngest of six children, Margaret grew up on a dairy farm just outside of Mankato.  Along with her brothers and sister, she learned early in life the value of a hard day’s work and the importance of community.  Their parents, Elaine and Carl, placed a high value on education and training as a pathway to economic opportunity.

Margaret went to Roosevelt Elementary School in Mankato and as a teenager she was the 4-H State President and the Blue Earth County Dairy Princess.  After graduating from Mankato West Senior High, she went to Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, where she earned a Bachelors Degree in Political Science with a concentration in History. 

Margaret also earned a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and was a Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow.

At the age of twenty, Margaret attended her first State DFL Convention. It was there she was elected to be a Delegate to the Democratic National Convention – and where she met her future husband, David Kelliher. The couple settled in Minneapolis and Margaret became an aide to former House Speaker Bob Vanasek.  Working at the State Legislature inspired Margaret and reaffirmed her commitment and dedication to public service.  She became a community organizer in the Bryn Mawr Neighborhood where she focused on long-range planning, transportation and improved housing in the area.   
Margaret was first elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1998.  In her first term, she was named “Freshman Legislator of the Year” and quickly moved up the leadership ranks in the DFL House Caucus. As Leader in 2006, Margaret directed the campaign operation that led to the largest legislative gains in decades for the DFL House Caucus. Following that campaign, she was elected Speaker of the House by her colleagues. Margaret’s ability to work with her colleagues – both across the aisle and within the diverse DFL membership – is the hallmark of her leadership style.

Characterized as the “calm inside the storm” by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Margaret has demonstrated she is a strong, pragmatic leader.  During her tenure as Speaker, Margaret guided the passage of a nation-leading renewable energy standard. When the safety of our roads and bridges was at stake, Margaret built the coalition of DFLers and Republicans that overrode Governor Pawlenty’s transportation bill veto. Over the course of the past three legislative sessions – all of which ended on time – Margaret oversaw an agenda that provided health care coverage for 40,000 uninsured children, provided for property tax relief for Minnesota families, and fulfilled a commitment to increase school funding. In the face of historic economic challenges, Margaret created a Jobs Task Force, recognizing the need to invest in job creation and training skilled workers for the new economy.

In addition to being Speaker, Margaret teaches at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute. Margaret and David have two children:  Patrick, attends Minneapolis Southwest High School and Franny who attends Barton Open School.

Prepared and paid for by Margaret for Governor, PO Box 14147, St. Paul, MN 55114
Site designed and built in Minnesota by Supermega Design