March of the Governors: Wendell Anderson
Before an ignominious electoral end, Wendell “Wendy” Anderson was one of Minnesota’s most significant and popular governors. Born and raised on St. Paul’s East Side, he had been an Olympic hockey player and a twelve-year legislative veteran when elected governor in 1970 at the age of thirty-seven. In his first term, Anderson successfully encouraged legislative passage of landmark open government, environmental, labor and other forward-looking laws. Most importantly, he campaigned and got passed a sweeping change in how K-12 education in the state was funded—later termed the “Minnesota Miracle.” For his efforts, Anderson was reelected in 1974 with 63 percent of the vote, carrying every county in the state. However, four years later, as a consequence of his self-appointment to that body, voters chose rival Rudy Boschwitz over him for the US Senate by a 56-40-percent margin, effectively ending his political career. Anderson later practiced law, was a television political commentator and served on the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents. He died in 2016.