Former Senate Counsel chief JoAnne Zoff is the Senate DFL’s pick to fill the Secretary of the Senate job. Incoming Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, plans to nominate her to oversee the Senate’s non-partisan offices and handle parliamentary matters on the floor when the Senate convenes January 8. Zoff will be rejoining the Senate after a brief retirement and replaces Cal Ludeman in the non-partisan post.
After graduating from law school in 1974, Zoff joined the Revisor of Statutes office when it was overseen by Esther Tomljanovich, who would go on to become a Minnesota Supreme Court justice. She moved over to Senate Counsel and staffed the Taxes Committee. At the time of her retirement in 2011 she was director of Senate Counsel, Research and Fiscal Analysis. She did a stint as co-secretary of the Senate after long-time secretary Pat Flahaven retired. She shared the secretary’s duties with fellow former Senate counsel Peter Wattson. To read a 2009 profile of Zoff in PIM’s sister publication Capitol Report, click here.
Zoff replaces Ludeman, who was installed by Republicans after they won control of the Senate in 2010. Ludeman’s appointment drew protests from DFLers because of his past involvement in various roles in Republican politics. After the election, Bakk said Ludeman wouldn’t be staying in the secretary’s job for long. As of today, Ludeman is still on the job in the Senate.