Dean Barkley, an independent appointed to fill the expiring term of Paul Wellstone, took the oath of office on November 12, 2002. Barkley was born in Annandale, Minnesota in 1950, and graduated from Annandale High School in 1968. He earned a bachelor of science degree in business in 1972 and a law degree in 1976, both from the University of Minnesota, and practiced law at Palmer, Hanjani, Barkley and Barley until 1998.
Barkley ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1991 and for the U.S. Senate in 1994 and 1996 as a Reform Party candidate. Although he was not elected to office, his persistence brought increased status to what was then the Minnesota Reform Party, allowing it to qualify for public campaign financing. Barkley advised Jesse Ventura, another Reform Party candidate, in his successful campaign for the Minnesota governorship in 1998. Governor Ventura appointed Barkley as director of Minnesota Planning, the state's strategic and long-range planning agency.
Barkley has led his party's effort to reform politics and government in Minnesota and has been instrumental in creating the Minnesota Reform Party, which became the Minnesota Independence Party. He served as a director of the Minnesota Compact, which advocates clean political campaigns, and has also served on the board of Common Cause Minnesota.
Dean Barkley and his wife, Susan, have been married since 1982. They have three children.
Alphabetical Listing of Senators