Mae Schunk

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Mae Schunk
45th Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota
In office
January 4, 1999 – January 6, 2003
GovernorJesse Ventura
Preceded byJoanne Benson
Succeeded byCarol Molnau
Personal details
Mae A. Gasparac

(1934-05-21) May 21, 1934 (age 89)
Greenwood, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political partyIndependence (from 2000)
Other political
Reform (until 2000)
SpouseWilliam Schunk
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin–Eau Claire

Mae A. Schunk (née Gasparac; born May 21, 1934) is an American politician and educator from Minnesota who served as the 45th lieutenant governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003. Elected on the same ticket as Jesse Ventura in the historic upset election of 1998 Minnesota gubernatorial election, she became the first Reform Party member elected as lieutenant governor of any state.


Prior to her tenure as lieutenant governor, she was a teacher for 37 years. In his memoir, Ventura mentioned that he chose her to "balance out all the testosterone." During her term in office, she visited schools throughout the state and frequently read to students as part of her efforts to encourage literacy and appreciation for reading among young people.

In the 2000 presidential campaign, as polls showed Texas Governor George W. Bush and U.S. Vice President Al Gore tied in Minnesota within 2 weeks of Election Day, Schunk endorsed Gore at a rally held on Nicollet Avenue in downtown Minneapolis while Ventura committed himself to a third-party candidate, John Hagelin. Later, in an interview with CNN, Ventura commented that Schunk had asked him before making the endorsement and that he had consented to her decision.[1]

Born to Croatian parents, Schunk lives with her husband, William Schunk in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota; they have a son, Benjamin Schunk. Schunk was educated at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.[2]

Electoral history[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "CNN Transcript - Special Event: Countdown To Election 2000: 7 Days To Go - October 31, 2000".
  2. ^ "UW-EAU Claire Alumna Enjoying Government Role". Archived from the original on November 30, 2004.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
First Reform nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota
Succeeded by
Martha Robertson
Political offices
Preceded by Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota
Succeeded by