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Al Quie
Albert Quie (2014).jpg
Quie in 2014
35th Governor of Minnesota
In office
January 4, 1979 – January 3, 1983
Lieutenant Lou Wangberg
Preceded by Rudy Perpich
Succeeded by Rudy Perpich
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 1st district
In office
February 18, 1958 – January 3, 1979
Preceded by August Andresen
Succeeded by Arlen Erdahl
Member of the Minnesota Senate
from the 18th district
In office
January 3, 1955 – January 3, 1958
Preceded by Homer Covert
Succeeded by Arnin Sundet
Personal details
Born
Albert Harold Quie

(1923-09-18)September 18, 1923
Wheeling Township, Minnesota, U.S.
Died August 18, 2023(2023-08-18) (aged 99)
Wayzata, Minnesota, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse
Gretchen Hansen
(m. 1948; died 2015)
Children 5
Education St. Olaf College (BA)
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Branch/service  United States Navy
Years of service 1943–1945
Unit United States Naval Air Force
Battles/wars World War II
Awards World War II Victory Medal

Albert Harold Quie ( kwee; September 18, 1923 – August 18, 2023) was an American politician and farmer. Quie, who served as member of the United States House of Representatives from 1958 to 1979 and Governor of Minnesota from 1979 to 1983.

Regarded as a moderate Republican. Quie was considered by Ronald Reagan for his choice of a running mate for the office of Vice President of the United States during the 1980 presidential election. He was also on Gerald Ford's list for possible vice presidents following the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974.

Early life

The third of four children, Quie was born on September 18, 1923, on his family's farm in Wheeling Township near Dennison, Minnesota, in Rice County. Three of his grandparents were Norwegian immigrants. The farm on which he was born and grew up on had been first purchased by his grandfather upon returning to Minnesota from fighting in the Civil War. A third-generation farmer, he grew up on the farm learning to ride horses and milk cows.

Quie graduated from Northfield High School in Northfield, Minnesota, in 1942. He served in the United States Navy during World War II as a fighter pilot, finishing flight school just as the war ended. Quie never saw active combat. Following his military service, he graduated from St. Olaf College in 1950, with a degree in political science. It was during this time that he met his future wife Gretchen Hansen.

State and national government service

Al Quie 1977 congressional photo
Quie in 1977

Like his great-grandfather, grandfather, and father before him, Quie became a dairy farmer. A Republican, Quie ran a campaign as a write-in candidate to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1952, but lost. He served in the Minnesota State Senate from 1955 to 1958, representing the old 18th District, which encompassed Rice County in the southeastern part of the state.

Congress

U.S. Representative August Andresen died in January 1958 and Quie ran in the special election to succeed him as the representative for MN's 1st congressional district. Quie won the Republican nomination at a party convention and then defeated Democratic-Farmer-Labor nominee Eugene Foley by 655 votes in the February special election. He defeated Foley in the November 1958 general election to win a full term. Quie was a member of the 85th, 86th, 87th, 88th, 89th, 90th, 91st, 92nd, 93rd, 94th, and 95th Congresses. He served on the House Agriculture Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee.

Quie voted in favor of the Civil Rights Acts of 1960, 1964, and 1968, as well as the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Quie was briefly considered for Vice President of the United States in 1974 after Gerald Ford became president upon the resignation of Richard Nixon. The position was eventually taken by Nelson Rockefeller.

Governor

Quie ran against incumbent Rudy Perpich and was elected governor of Minnesota in 1978. During his single term, he dealt with an extreme budget crisis, and made some very tough and unpopular choices. He opted not to run again in 1982.

Later years

After leaving politics, Quie became involved with a nonprofit prison ministry. He sold the family farm and traveled extensively, including horseback riding excursions.

Personal life

Quie’s grandfather joined the newly founded Republican Party and supported Abraham Lincoln for president in the 1860 United States presidential election.

Quie was a devout Lutheran. He married artist Gretchen Quie, whom he met at St. Olaf, on June 5, 1948. She died of Parkinson's disease on December 13, 2015, at the age of 88.

Quie died on August 18, 2023, at his home in Wayzata, Minnesota, one month before his 100th birthday.

Electoral history

District Incumbent This race
Year Member Party Results Candidates
X 1958 Special Election August H. Andresen Republican Incumbent died January 14, 1958.
New member elected February 18, 1958.
Republican hold.
  • YesY Al Quie (Republican) 50.3%
  • Eugene P. Foley (Democratic) 49.7%
X 1958 Al Quie Republican Incumbent re-elected.
  • YesY Al Quie (Republican) 56.9%
  • Eugene P. Foley (Democratic) 43.1%
X 1960 Al Quie Republican Incumbent re-elected.
  • YesY Al Quie (Republican) 60.5%
  • George Shepherd (DFL) 39.5%
X 1962 Al Quie Republican Incumbent re-elected.
  • YesY Al Quie (Republican) 57.5%
  • George Shepherd (DFL) 42.5%
X 1964 Al Quie Republican Incumbent re-elected.
X 1966 Al Quie Republican Incumbent re-elected.
  • YesY Al Quie (Republican) 65.9%
  • George Daley (DFL) 34.1%
X 1968 Al Quie Republican Incumbent re-elected.
  • YesY Al Quie (Republican) 68.7%
  • George Daley (DFL) 31.3%
X 1970 Al Quie Republican Incumbent re-elected.
X 1972 Al Quie Republican Incumbent re-elected.
X 1974 Al Quie Republican Incumbent re-elected.
X 1976 Al Quie Republican Incumbent re-elected.
  • YesY Al Quie (Republican) 68.2%
  • Robert C. "Bob" Olson Jr. (DFL) 30.5%
  • Lloyd Duwe (American) 1.3%
1978 Gubernatorial Election, Minnesota
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Ind.-Republican Al Quie 830,019 52.35% +22.99%
Democratic (DFL) Rudy Perpich (incumbent) 718,244 45.30% -17.51%
American Richard Pedersen 21,058 1.33% n/a
Socialist Workers Jill Lakowske 6,287 0.40% -0.34%
Honest Government 87 Tom McDonald 4,254 0.27% n/a
Libertarian Robin E. Miller 3,689 0.23% +0.06%
Savings Account Edwin Pommerening 2,043 0.13% n/a
Majority 111,775 7.05%
Turnout 1,585,594
Independent-Republican gain from Democratic–Farmer–Labor Swing
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