democratic-farmer-labor party of minnesota
DEMOCRATIC-FARMER-LABOR PARTY OF MINNESOTA
HALL OF DISTINGUISHED SERVICE
The highest honor that the Central Committee confers is admission to the DFL Hall of
Distinguished Service. The History Committee was established to nominate four persons for
this honor. The History Committee considered those from throughout the history of the state
excluding only those in current leadership roles. We recommend that the Central Committee
elect Ray J Anderson, Jack Davies, Josie Johnson and David Minge to the hall for 2013.
I wish to thank the members of the History Committee - Loki Anderson, Rep. Lyndon Carlson,
Sen. Dick Cohen, Jacob Grippen, Joan Hiller, Tim O'Brien, Karen Sames, Nancy Schumacher
and Christian Torkelson – for their work in preparing this report.
JULES GOLDSTEIN, DFL Historian
Current Members DFL Hall of Distinguished Service:
Hubert H. Humphrey
Hubert H. “Skip” Humphrey III
Sharon Sayles Belton
John A. Johnson
Nellie Stone Johnson
Muriel Humphrey Brown
Meg Bye *
Myrtle Cain *
Walter F. Mondale
Joan Anderson Growe
Mike Hatch *
Jim Oberstar *
Floyd B. Olson
* 2012 inductees.
Raymond Joseph Anderson
Ray J. was a great role model who was articulate,
knowledgeable and gently (but some would say forcefully)
persuasive in his field of life called rural agriculture. He was
born on the 4th of July in 1915 in Detroit Lakes. He and his
wife, Marian (McDowell), established a farm business in the
Detroit Lakes (Audubon), MN area they called RAYMAR
ACRES. It was a fun place to visit. They farmed for over 40
years until retiring in 1986. While rearing a family, they
managed to be very active in their community. Locally Ray J.
served on the Big Five Coop Board of Directors and the
Audubon Coop Grain Elevator Board, along with intense
participation in local DFL activities.
He was one who helped to keep the “F” in the DFL Party and
is given credit for writing the first Agriculture planks/
positions for the State Platform. Over the years his sure hand helped guide the Agriculture
portion of the DFL Platform. Taking it a step further, he lobbied hard to enact that platform at
the state and national level. He became an avid resource for folks like Hubert H. Humphrey,
Walter Mondale and Bob Bergland.
When Collin Peterson became a State Senator, he advised him as well, and a real bond
formed that helped propel Collin to Congress. He drove Collin thousands of miles during the
successful 1990 campaign. All this time he was very active in the Becker County DFL – holding
offices, conducting fundraisers and always getting elected as a delegate. His wife Marian also
held office and was known for her talents in organizing and cooking. Never missing a meeting,
he arrived well groomed – most times in suit and tie attire – and always spoke eloquently to
the issues at hand. He loved to be called on to tell the real workings of Congress. Ray J
proudly served candidates as their very honest treasurer. He made sure every bill was paid on
When the Ethanol debate started, he jumped in with full support and soon found himself a
leader in the industry serving as Vice President of the National Gasohol Commission and
President of MN Alcohol Fuels Association. Their most important work was educating or
“spreading the word” to all folks on this new fuel and its possibilities.
He served as a Congressional District director for years, and this led to his 1975 election to
the Democratic National Committee. A true RURAL representative, he understood the land, the
small towns, rural schools and the rural life in Minnesota. Thereafter, he attended every
meeting and gave full reports of our national party workings. He was always approachable to
visit with and take local conversations out to Washington to help them understand how their
decisions and policies affect rural Minnesotans. Rural Minnesota, especially Congressional
District 7 and the farming community, lost a great advocate and worker when he passed away
in 2010 in the community where he had been born nearly 95 years before.
Sharon Josephson describes Ray J as “a man of few words, but when he spoke on behalf of
American farmers, national, state and local officials listened.”
Ray J Anderson was nominated by Lil Ortendahl.
John Thomas “Jack” Davies was born in Harvey, ND in 1932.
Davies graduated magna cum laude in journalism from the
University of Minnesota and was on its national championship quiz
bowl team in 1953. While a student at the university law school
he was invited to join the law review staff, but opted instead for a
long-shot race in 1958 against an entrenched incumbent state
senator, Ralph Mayhood. Davies won and became the youngest
senator he was still the youngest eight years later.
His proudest achievement in the legislature was passage of the
no-fault automobile insurance law, which reformed Minnesota’s
system of compensating automobile accident victims. In addition
to no-fault, Davies, was chief author of more than 54 major laws.
In one biennial session, he was the sponsor of 46 separate pieces
of legislation that became law.
Davies was a Senate member of the 1971 Minnesota Constitutional Study Commission. As a
member of a three-person subcommittee of that commission, he drafted a “Form and
Structure” amendment to the constitution, which was ratified by the voters in 1974. As a
consequence, he claims to have held a constitutional convention at his kitchen table.
Davies was Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee for ten years, and in that role he
oversaw adoption of legislation dealing with protection of privacy, sentencing guidelines,
uniform probate code, mental commitment, and judicial reorganization. In 1981, he was
elected President of the Senate.
Davies was a professor at William Mitchell College of Law for 25 years. Since 1966, Davies
has been a member of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws,
playing a prominent role as a member of its Executive and Scope and Program committees. He
has served on drafting committees on the subjects of franchising, commercial credit,
determination of death, defamation, determination of parentage, and no-fault automobile
insurance. Now a life member of the Uniform Laws Conference, Davies will continue his publicservice commitment by participating in its work and lobbying for passage of uniform acts. He
is also a member of the American Law Institute.
Davies was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Governor Perpich on July 1, 1990. Among
Judge Davies’ significant opinions are In Re Guardianship of Kowalski, 478 N.W.2d 790 (Minn.
App. 1991) (ending a seven-year struggle between the parents and partner of a brain-injured
lesbian); Lundman v. McKown, 530 N.W.2d 807 (Minn. App. 1995) (relating to the civil liability
of Christian Scientist parents and caregivers for the death of a diabetic child); and State v.
Carter, 545 N.W.2d 695 (Minn. App. 1996) (a search case that was affirmed by the U.S.
Judge Davies’ fondest hope for the future is to be included in Bartlett’s Famous Quotations
for a widely quoted phrase he coined in the 1960s: “The world is run by those who show up."
Jack Davies was nominated by Jacob Grippen.
Dr. Josie Robinson Johnson is a woman who has been at the
forefront of civil and human rights for more than 65 years and
was the first African-American to serve on the University of
Minnesota's Board of Regents.
She was born in 1930 in Houston Texas where her father,
Judson Robinson Sr, was a founder of the local Urban League.
By the time she was 15, she was gathering petition signatures
to overturn the Texas poll tax. She received a BA from Fisk
University and an EdD from the University of Massachusetts.
After moving to Minnesota in the mid-1950s with her husband
and children, Johnson got involved with the Urban League, the
NAACP, and the League of Women Voters. By 1961, when the
state’s Fair Housing bill was being developed to end
discrimination in housing, Johnson went to work for the
League of Women Voters and the Minnesota Civil Rights Department to lobby for the bill’s
passage. In 1964 she led a multi-racial delegation of women to Jackson, Mississippi to see the
racism down there first hand. By 1967, she was acting director of the Minneapolis Urban
She served as University Regent from 1971 until 1973. She was not only the first AfricanAmerican to serve, she was also only the 5th woman do so.
In the 1990’s, as associate vice-president for academic affairs at the U of M, she
spearheaded efforts to increase diversity in the student body and faculty. To honor her
committed efforts, the U of M established the Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social
Justice Award, which honors “its faculty, staff, and students who, through their principles and
practices, exemplify Dr. Johnson’s standard of excellence in creating respectful and inclusive
living, learning, and working environments.”
In 2009 she became Principal of Saint Peter Claver Catholic School in St Paul. In 2010,
Governor-Elect Dayton appointed Josie Johnson co-chair of his transition team saying “I look
forward to being the beneficiary, once again, of Josie’s extraordinary wisdom, and I hope for
her continuing guidance after the new Administration begins.”
Her work as Campaign Co-Chair of Our Vote Our Future was instrumental in the recent
efforts to defeat the proposed voter ID amendment.
"When you talk about working together regardless of political party affiliation or whatever
difference, the first person that comes to mind is Dr. Josie Johnson," said Minnesota Human
Rights Commissioner, Kevin Lindsey. "We can all take and use the lessons we've learned from
"She's one of the greatest human beings I know," said Mahmoud El-Kati. "A person's chief
aim in life is not to be happy, it's to be responsible, to be useful – to be compassionate. That's
St. Paul Mayor, Chris Coleman called her one of his heroes saying "She's always been willing
to roll up her sleeves and do the work. And through it all she has maintained her dignity and
Josie Johnson is a magnificent community leader, scholar, administrator, social and political
activist, mother, grandmother, and teacher.
Josie Johnson was nominated by Sherrie Pugh, Mary Anderson and Frank Brown.
David R. Minge was born in Clarkfield, Minnesota and raised in
Worthington, Minnesota. He graduated with a bachelor's degree
from St. Olaf College and a law degree from the University of
Chicago Law School. After earning his Juris Doctor, he moved to
Minneapolis, Minnesota where he practiced law for several
years. He was then offered a teaching position at the University
of Wyoming Law School where he taught for seven years. David
Minge then moved to Montevideo, Minnesota where he was part
of a country law practice, on the school board, and actively
involved in community affairs. While working as a small town
lawyer in Montevideo, he got involved in restoring the upper
Minnesota River Valley.
In March 1993 David Minge announced a campaign against six
term incumbent Vin Webber. After Webber announce his
retirement that April, Minge was a strong candidate for the now open seat and became the
first Democrat elected from CD2 in more than 50 years. He became part of the Blue Dog
Coalition consisting of moderate and conservative congressional Democrats. He was a
champion of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), a federal-state
partnership to improve water quality and protect the environment. The Minnesota River Valley
was the second place in the country to participate in CREP, a program which gave farmers
along the Minnesota River the incentive to remove marginal land from production and
voluntarily enroll it in a conservation easement.
At the time, CD2 covered the southwestern quarter of Minnesota. Lori Sellner notes, “David
was a near-perfect fit for the conservative and very rural district he represented. He may have
been slightly more progressive than most of his constituents, but he won the voters over with
his integrity, hard work, and folksy nature. I say folksy because I don't remember him
speaking at any event without reciting an Ole & Lena joke to get things started!”
In 2000, Minge lost his campaign for a fifth term to Mark Kennedy by only 155 votes out of
nearly 300,000 votes cast. In the same election, Al Gore lost CD2 by nearly 40,000 votes.
When Governor Ventura appointed him to the Minnesota Court of Appeals in 2002, he said
"Congressman Minge is a man of great intellect and integrity who demonstrated his collegiality
as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, but he is not just a politician; he is a
lawyer who has practiced in the city as well as the country. He has also taught law. He is
ideally suited to be a judge on the Minnesota Court of Appeals."
He retired from the court in 2012 and has been teaching law at both his alma mater, St Olaf
College, and The University of Minnesota.
David Minge continues to maintain a strong interest in environmental protection and
conservation. He is married to Karen Aaker Minge, originally of Gaylord, Minnesota.They have
two sons, Erik and Olaf, and four grandchildren (Christopher, Sonja, Annika, and Jocelyn).
David Minge was nominated by Lori Sellner.