Peter Hutchinson

This article is about the American politician. For the English artist and diarist, see Peter Orlando Hutchinson.

Peter Hutchinson (born December 17, 1949) is an American politician, businessman and philanthropy executive from the U.S. state of Minnesota. He ran as the Independence Party of Minnesota candidate for Governor of Minnesota in 2006.

Early life and education

Hutchinson was born in Faribault, Minnesota, but moved to Rochester, New York with his family at a young age. He attended Dartmouth College, where he received a bachelor's degree in government and urban studies, then attended Princeton University, where he received a master's degree in public affairs and urban planning.


In 1975, he returned to Minnesota and, in 1977, he was elected Deputy Mayor of Minneapolis in the administration of Mayor Albert Hofstede, serving in that post until 1979. After leaving office, he was hired by the Dayton Hudson Corporation, for which he was Vice President of External Affairs and Chairman of the Dayton Hudson Foundation. As Chairman of the Foundation, he oversaw the distribution of $110 million nationwide for use in community improvement projects.

In 1989, DFL Governor Rudy Perpich appointed Hutchinson the state's Commissioner of Finance. That year, a budget deficit seemed likely, but Hutchinson managed to help balance the budget by cutting wasteful and inefficient spending. After Perpich was succeeded by Republican Governor Arne Carlson, Hutchinson tendered his resignation. The next year, he joined two partners. Babak Armajani and John James, in forming the Public Strategies Group, a consulting firm that works mainly with public sector customers. During the mid 90s, PSG had a contract to run the Minneapolis public schools and he served as the superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools. In 2004, he and colleague David Osborne authored The Price of Government: Getting the Results We Need in an Age of Permanent Fiscal Crisis.

Campaign for governor

On January 25, 2006, he announced that he was running for Governor of Minnesota as an Independent, although he would seek the Independence Party's endorsement. In his campaign, his slogan was "Open Up Minnesota," and he promised to restore competency to a state government that he claims is gridlocked by partisanship. He promised not to campaign on what he calls "the 5 G's" -- guns, gays, God, gambling, and gynecology—which he claims are political straw men.

The Independence Party's nominating convention was held June 24 at Midway Stadium in St. Paul. Hutchinson and his "team" were endorsed on the first ballot, with Hutchinson receiving 90% of the vote and his team running unopposed. Hutchinson defeated former Jesse Ventura aide Pam Ellison in the September primary, garnering 66% of the vote. He faced incumbent Republican Tim Pawlenty and Democrat Mike Hatch in the general election, in which he was defeated by Pawlenty, earning 141,735 votes for 6.4% of the total.

St. Paul's Pioneer Press, Winona's Daily News, and the University of Minnesota's The Minnesota Daily endorsed Hutchinson for governor.

Team Minnesota

On June 15, 2006, he unveiled "Team Minnesota," a group of professionals, politicians, and public servants that he has recruited to run for various statewide offices on the Independence ticket. His lieutenant governor running mate was Dr. Maureen Reed, a former chairman of the University of Minnesota board of regents.

Other members of "Team Minnesota" included Lucy Gerold, Minneapolis' Deputy Chief of Police, for State Auditor; former state Commissioner of Revenue John James for Attorney General; and Brooklyn Park Economic and Redevelopment Director Joel Spoonheim for Secretary of State. Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura endorsed Hutchinson in a series of commercials.

Bush Foundation

In late 2007, Hutchinson joined the (Archibald) Bush Foundation, Saint Paul, MN as its President. Under his leadership, in July 2008, the Foundation announced its Goals for a Decade, which seek in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota to (1) develop courageous leaders and engage entire communities in solving problems, (2) support the self-determination of Native nations and (3) increase educational achievement.

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Tim Penny
Independence Party of Minnesota nominee for Governor of Minnesota
Succeeded by
Tom Horner
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