Former U regent seeking 6th District nominations

Maureen Reed, a former Board of Regents Chair, is looking to oppose Rep. Michele Bachmann in 2010.

As soon as Redwood Falls native Dr. Maureen Reed stepped onto the University of Minnesota campus as a junior in the early 1970s, it felt like home. Over the next 30 years, she spent a lot of time on campus, as an undergraduate, a medical student and from 2001-2003 as chair of the Board of Regents . Now Reed has her sights set on a new position in public policy: United States Representative. On May 6, Reed announced a run for Congress in the 6 Congressional District , seeking nominations from the DFL and Independence parties. Others hoping to gain the DFL nomination against incumbent Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann include last yearâÄôs candidate Elwyn Tinklenberg and possibly Assistant Senate Majority Leader Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud. Reed graduated from the University with a degree in communications disorders in 1975. She went on to medical school and then completed her residency in internal medicine. When Reed was a first-year, she wanted to be a veterinarian. But when she went to the veterinary program at the University of Nebraska in 1972, they told her they did not accept women. So she decided to go to medical school. âÄúI never regretted for a day going to medical school. But I look back and I think âÄòwow, those were really different times werenâÄôt they,âÄôâÄù Reed said. In 1997, she was elected to the Board of Regents , where she was a member for eight years. Reed credits her time with the Board as getting her âÄúhookedâÄù into public service. âÄú[The Board of Regents] was one of the best experiences of my life,âÄù she said. âÄúI just loved being in the service of the University, and in the service of the people of Minnesota who have certain expectations of their University.âÄù University alumna Emma Olson , a volunteer for the campaign, said Reed is all about the people. âÄúSheâÄôs really sharp, a really smart person who just really gets it, and gets what it means to represent people,âÄù Olson said. âÄúThatâÄôs really why I am working for Maureen, and why I want her to win.âÄù Reed was OlsonâÄôs mentor through the UniversityâÄôs Tom Burnett Advanced Leadership Program in December 2008. Olson was also the former president of the Minnesota Student Association and a student representative to the Board of Regents . When Reed isnâÄôt busy campaigning, she enjoys ice skating at Mariucci Arena and hiking along the North Shore. For almost 30 years Reed has lived with her husband in the same house, on the same street near Stillwater. The couple does not have children. When she was on the Board of Regents, her husband and extended family would get a hay wagon to ride in the Homecoming parade every year.

ReedâÄôs Campaign

Larry Jacobs , director of the UniversityâÄôs Center for the Study of Politics and Governance , said he thinks Reed will have to prove she has campaigning experience to gain a foothold in the race. Her opponents for the nomination have experience in the district âÄî Tinklenberg is running for Congress in the 6th District for the third time against Bachmann , and Clark has represented a portion of the district for four years at the state Capitol. Reed does have some campaign experience of her own âÄî she ran for lieutenant governor in 2006 under the Independence Party. Her campaign has brought in a good amount of donations, too. As of June 30, ReedâÄôs campaign has raised almost $232,000, while TinklenbergâÄôs campaign has raised more than $55,000, according to the Federal Election Commission . âÄúEven though I think Maureen ReedâÄôs got her work cut out for her, sheâÄôs an intelligent, thoughtful, independent-thinking Minnesotan and I think itâÄôs a good sign for our state that we get people like that jumping to run for office,âÄù Jacobs said. However, Clark may have an advantage for the DFL nomination due to her elected office experience, Jacobs said. âÄúMy hunch is that Democrats in that district are going to be more interested in a fresh face,âÄù Jacobs said. âÄúI think there was some frustration among Democrats that [Tinklenberg] lost against Michele Bachmann.âÄù Reed describes her campaign as an energetic, âÄúno-pauseâÄù campaign. âÄúThereâÄôs no one thatâÄôs going to work harder in this campaign than Maureen, thereâÄôs no question,âÄù Olson said. âÄúItâÄôs already been shown in her fundraising ability.âÄù Reed said she is passionate about healthcare and education. âÄúWhen President Obama got elected and put healthcare reform on the front burner of the national agenda, I thought, âÄòThis is where I can contribute,âÄôâÄù she said. âÄúI know the area, I know we can fix it, I am certain we can fix it, and IâÄôm certain it has to be fixed.âÄù Reed wants students to know that education is important to her. âÄú[StudentsâÄô] success and their future prospects are really important to me, and to all of us, not just to me,âÄù she said. âÄúWe need our young folks to be very successful, our country needs that and IâÄôm glad it can happen and it will happen.âÄù