Senator Tom Bakk
Thomas M. Bakk was elected to the Minnesota State Senate in November 2002. Prior to his election to the Senate, Bakk served in the Minnesota House of Representatives for four terms.
In addition to his role as a legislator, Bakk is a labor official for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. Working as a journeyman carpenter for 11 years, Bakk was elected to lead his union in 1987 — a position he still holds. Since then, he has served on many boards and organizations that seek to further the natural resource-based economy in Northern Minnesota, as well as the quality of life. Bakk is the past president of the Iron Range Building Trades and a former volunteer firefighter. Currently, he sits on the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) Board of Directors and the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB). Bakk has also been appointed to various national committees, including the Midwestern Legislative Conference Economic Development, Technology and Labor Committee, and the National Conference of State Legislatures Labor and Workforce Development Committee. Most recently, Bakk was appointed by Governor Pawlenty to sit on the state’s Workforce Development Council.
A legislator since 1994, Bakk sees improving the standard of living for workers and their families as a key reason for serving in the Legislature. He has worked diligently to bring more value-added jobs to Northern Minnesota and is committed to continuing those efforts. In recent years, Bakk has worked to find economic answers for the workers who lost their jobs at the LTV mine in the Aurora-Hoyt Lakes area. In the 2003 Legislative Session, he was the Senate chief author of the Governor’s JOBZ initiative, and in 2006 authored and passed legislation on eminent domain reform. His other legislative interests include education, environment and tax policy.
Bakk earned an associates degree at Mesabi Community College and a baccalaureate degree in business administration at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He resides on Lake Vermilion near Cook, Minnesota with his wife, Laura. They have four adult children. Bakk is an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys hunting, fishing and snowmobiling. He also enjoys spending time at his wilderness cabin located in Ontario, Canada.