Mendota Heights Misukanis running for Dist. 52 Senate seat

Mark Misukanis

Mendota Heights resident Mark Misukanis received the Republican Party endorsement in the Minnesota Senate District 52 race.

The Metro State University assistant professor said he has been watching public policy for a long time and has become concerned with the “ineffectiveness” of some state programs and policies. 

Misukanis said transportation infrastructure issues and the academic achievement gap have received considerable attention yet they still persist.

But his desire to run for the Legislature was triggered by a comment Gov. Mark Dayton made about a new early-childhood education program.

“[Dayton] said ‘It’s my hope and wish that this will be effective.’ We can’t spend $365 million on a hope and wish,” Misukanis said.

Misukanis said he “isn’t against good programs,” but instead “is for good programs that solve problems.”

The 61-year-old teaches economics and administration classes in the College of Management at Metro State. 

He said he has 20 years of non-partisan work in the Minnesota Senate; eight of those years were spent as budget director and policy analyst. He was also director of finance and research in the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.

He has a Ph.D. in educational policy and administration from the University of Wisconsin

Misukanis said he does not have certain areas he’s specifically focusing on while campaigning.

“Everybody in this district has a different problem. If I come out and say education is the most important thing to me or transportation is the most important thing, what does that mean to the person who the environment is the most important?” Misukanis said.

At the same time, Misukanis said there are significant problems with infrastructure including roads, bridges, sewer systems and more.

Matt Klein of Mendota Heights, a physician at Hennepin County Medical Center and a member of the West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan School Board, is the DFL-endorsed candidate in the Senate 52 race. 

Long-time Sen. Jim Metzen of South St. Paul currently holds the District 52 seat. Metzen announced earlier this year that he would not be running for reelection due to health issues.

The district includes Inver Grove Heights, Lilydale, Mendota, Mendota Heights, Sunfish Lake, West St. Paul and parts of South St. Paul and Eagan. 

Currently, there is no GOP-endorsed candidate in the House of Representatives District 52A race against DFL incumbent Rick Hansen of South St. Paul.


Hannah Burlingame can be reached at 651-748-7824 or

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