Meet Rebecca

Rebecca Otto on Obstacles

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The only candidate for governor who has won a statewide race.

Rebecca Otto is Minnesota's 18th State Auditor. She was first elected statewide in 2006 by unseating an incumbent by the largest margin in 112 years for a seat that had been Republican for 134 of its 149 years. Rebecca is the first woman Democrat to be elected State Auditor, and the only Democrat ever to be re-elected. She is serving her third term after winning a high-profile 2014 primary against a self-financed opponent who outspent her 4 to 1, beating him 81%-19% and going on to win the general election by her widest margin yet, outperforming the margins of Congressman Nolan on the Iron Range by 12 points, Congressman Ellison in Congressional District 5 by 2.5 points, and Governor Dayton statewide by 6 points


Learn more about Rebecca's personal life and career with an interactive timeline.      


Rebecca Otto

Rebecca has delivered one historically powerful victory after another, defeating better financed opponents Tweet This of both parties. Her statewide executive and electoral experience, her support among Republican, Democratic, and Green party members without compromising her values, and her personal style give her broad electoral popularity.

Rebecca Otto is the only candidate for Governor who has unseated a statewide incumbent Tweet This and she did it by the largest margin in 112 years. She wins the Metro with larger margins than members of Congress, and she has won more Greater Minnesota counties than Mark Dayton or Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty. She has won four statewide races, including a hotly contested primary, which she won 81%-19% after being outspent 4 to 1.

Previously Rebecca served in the House of Representatives and on the Forest Lake Area School Board. She lives on a small farm in rural May Township with her husband Shawn, a writer and science advocate. The couple have one son, who recently graduated from Hamline University.

Rebecca Otto's voting record on the State Executive Council shows her political courage Tweet This in being willing to take tough stands for what's right rather than what's politically expedient, opposing new mineral leases for nonferrous mining until the taxpayers and workers of Minnesota are protected, and in all cases when next to Minnesota's most precious water resources like the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness or Lake Superior. Voters respect and value that courage and authenticity.

Rebecca has spent her time in public office siding with average Minnesotans and against the politics of greed Tweet This that is paralyzing our political process. Her driving philosophy is to see everyone have an equal opportunity at success. Rebecca works regularly with federal, state and local government and teaches government auditors from foreign countries how to root out or avoid corruption, protecting democracy.

Most recently, Rebecca launched a big data mapping initiative covering Minnesota's aging infrastructure, the first in the nation, which will help inform her infrastructure initiative as Governor Otto. It maps the age, use and condition of our infrastructure interactively using state and local government data, so local governments, legislators and the public can make wise investment decisions.

Rebecca serves on the State Board of Investment, where they invest over $80 billion in state investment and public employee pension funds. She also serves on the Public Employees Retirement Association Board, the State Executive Council, the Public Land Exchange Board, the Rural Finance Authority Board, and the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency Board, where she has been a strong advocate for green building and for ending homelessness.


In 2017, Rebecca received the highest honor a State Auditor can receive, the William R Snodgrass Distinguished Leadership Award, a recognition of her sustained national and state leadership from her peers in all 50 states of both parties. Past recipients include the current Chair of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board.

In 2014, Rebecca was named one of the 15 most influential government auditors in America by the Institute of Internal Auditors, the 180,000-member worldwide professional organization of private sector auditors.

In 2014, Rebecca received the President's Award from the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers, who cited her work on the National Alliance to Transform State Government Operations.

In 2013, Rebecca was elected president of the National State Auditors Association.

In 2013, she was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Minnesota.

In 2011, she received the League of Minnesota Cities President's Award "for unwavering support of Minnesota local government in enhancing effectiveness, efficiency and accountability for all Minnesotans."

In 2010 Rebecca received the Distinguished Service "Golden Axe" Award from the Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association for her work supporting the fire service, the first Constitutional Officer to receive this honor.

In 2009 she earned the National Excellence in Accountability Award for a major report her office issued on how to (and not to) reduce energy use in local governments by switching to efficient, carbon-free energy sources. Local governments are one of the largest energy users nationwide.

In 2009 she was an honoree of the National Women's History Month, alongside Hillary Clinton, Sally Ride, Jane Goodall, and other "Women taking the lead to save our planet," the 2009 theme.


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