Skip to main content

Minnesotans have been all over the State of the Union

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Minnesotans have been getting some of the spotlight at the president's annual State of the Union address, at least over the past few years.

At tonight's speech, a Minnesota woman will be the guest of First Lady Michelle Obama. Rebekah Erler, 36, is a wife and mother of two from St. Anthony, who wrote to President Obama last March about her family's financial struggles during the recent recession. She also had lunch with the president when he visited Minneapolis in July.

In 2014, the owner of St. Paul's Punch Pizza and one of his employees were guests, as the president praised the pizzeria for voluntarily raising the minimum wage to more than $10 an hour.

In 2013, Abby Schanfield of Minneapolis was a guest of the First Lady. Schanfield, who has several medical conditions, was a beneficiary of the president's Affordable Care Act.

Also in 2013, Sami Rahamim, the son of a Minneapolis business owner who was killed in a shooting rampage, was in attendance as the president made gun control a central theme of his speech. Sami Rahamim was a guest of U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, who represents Minnesota's 5th Congressional District.

The delegation's guest list

Each senator and member of Congress receives one ticket for a guest to attend the State of the Union address each year.

Here's a list of the guests invited by Minnesota's congressional delegation, according to the Star Tribune.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar: Minnesota State Community and Technical College President Peggy Kennedy.

Sen. Al Franken: University of Minnesota Student Body President Joelle Stangler.

Rep. Tim Walz, 1st District: Army Ranger Sgt. Thomas Block, 2014 Army Times Soldier of the Year.

Rep. John Kline, 2nd District: No information from his office.

Rep. Erik Paulsen, 3rd District: Minneapolis Police Sgt. Grant Snyder, who focuses on combating sex trafficking.

Rep. Betty McCollum, 4th District: Matt Kramer, president and CEO of the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce.

Rep. Keith Ellison, 5th District: Veronica Mendez, co-director of Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha.

Rep. Tom Emmer, 6th District: Brenton Hayden, "Young Entrepreneur of the Year."

Rep. Collin Peterson, 7th District: No guest. He gave his extra ticket to North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp so she could have two guests: Richard and Susan Lunski, who were among the first people to respond to a crash between a school bus and a train near Grand Forks earlier this month.

Rep. Rick Nolan, D, 8th District: Sophie Cerkvenik, senior at Virginia High School and daughter of a lobbyist.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-10-02 at 8.25.27 PM

Pilot, brother and sister killed when plane crashed into house are ID'd

The plane crashed into a house in Hermantown, Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-10-02 at 7.18.52 PM

Rolled semi, livestock on freeway interchange in Woodbury

Traffic cameras showed what appeared to be hogs on the side of the road.

Eric Reinbold

Reinbold guilty of murdering wife with 'particular cruelty'

Eric Reinbold, 46, was convicted of two counts of murder in the second degree in Pennington County Friday.

police tape

Armed assault suspect arrested after standoff in Waite Park

The standoff ended early Saturday when officer obtained a warrant for the home.

Screen Shot 2022-10-02 at 9.06.25 AM

3 dead after plane crashes into house in Hermantown

Two people in the house were uninjured.


Destructive fire at Maple Grove greenhouse and nursery

The fire burned early Sunday morning at a longtime Maple Grove greenhouse and nursery.

st. cloud state university hockey

SCSU player hospitalized after being taken off ice on stretcher

Luedtke was checked into the boards in the first period and down for a reported 10-15 minutes.

Amber alert wisconsin

Amber Alert for Kryssy King canceled, suspect still at large

Police beleived 15-year-old Kryssy King was with a 22-year-old man who remains wanted.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 10.18.12 AM

3 St. Paul fast food restaurants robbed in space of an hour

The thieves struck between 7:15 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 9.06.40 AM

What to do with the Kmart site? Minneapolis wants your ideas

The project will connect Nicollet Avenue south of Lake street and north of the Midtown Greenway, reestablishing a street grid.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 7.53.55 AM

Crowd evacuated at end of homecoming football game in Brooklyn Park

Police blamed 'unruly teens' in the stands and some who were trying to enter the stadium.