Tom DeGree Announces Bid for Minnesota House of Representatives in District 39B


Lake Elmo native Tom DeGree has announced a run for the Minnesota House of Representatives.

DeGree, an elementary school teacher and small business owner announced his candidacy for state representative today.

Here is the news release announcing his bid:

DeGree, a DFL candidate, is launching a bid to represent District 39B, the same area where he was raised. This is DeGree’s second bid for the seat, one which he came close to winning in 2012 even after an unprecedented influx of special-interest funding against him.

“It’s time that the people of our community have a voice at the Capitol,” DeGree said. “For too long, our parents, business owners, educators, and neighborhoods have been shut out of these important conversations.”

DeGree is a successful small business owner and educator who believes that strong schools and vibrant local businesses are key to moving Minnesota forward.

“I know first-hand what it takes for our local businesses, and our students, to succeed. Government needs to encourage the success of our small businesses, not make it harder for them to grow.” DeGree said. “As an educator, I know Minnesota can do better by our kids. Their success is our success.

“As a member of the House of Representatives I will work to ensure businesses in Minnesota have an environment where they can thrive, and our kids have quality educational opportunities,” said DeGree. “It’s time to build a strong middle class and a brighter future for our community. Let’s keep Minnesota moving forward—a place where families, opportunity and freedom come first.”


Small Business Owner

I became a small business owner over 10 years ago when my partner and I opened the Wilde Roast Cafe in Minneapolis. We’ve worked hard and our business has been successful, moving to a new location so we can expand. We are proud to have created employment opportunities for our current staff of over 70, and to soon be opening a second restaurant. As a business owner, I know what it takes to grow local business. I understand the importance of keeping our taxes low, and the need to to encourage small business success.


I have spent the last 20 years teaching in the Saint Paul School District. I’ve been on the ground level, and I know that education should never be a political gimmick or football. The future of our community, and our economy, depends on the success of our kids.


After graduating from Hill Murray High School, I went north to the University of Minnesota Duluth where I earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in business. I continued my education with a graduate degree in education at St. Thomas University, and in 2009 earned a K-12 principal license through Hamline University. I am an uncle of twelve nieces and nephews, and I want them to have the same values and opportunities that I grew up with.

Along with being an educator and small business owner, I have volunteered hundreds of hours as chair of the Stillwater Family Means Garden tour. I served on the Guthrie Business Board in Minneapolis, participated in the Quorum Business Board, and was site council co-chair for Capitol Hill Elementary in St. Paul.

As a member of the House of Representatives I will work to assure businesses have an environment where they can thrive, and our youth continue to have quality educational opportunities.

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