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Dean Elton Johnson sworn in to second term as U of M regent

Former Willmar Democratic Sen. Dean Johnson is sworn in Thursday for a second term on the University of Minnesota Board of Regents. Photo submitted by Patrick O’ Leary

WILLMAR -- Dean Elton Johnson of Willmar was sworn in Thursday to a second term on the University of Minnesota Board of Regents.

Johnson and Regent Chairwoman Linda Cohen were re-elected by the full Legislature in March. Both are at-large members of the board.

Also elected in March were Abdul Omari, to represent students, and Peggy Lucas, representing the Fifth Congressional District.

After his election, Johnson said he thought legislators had asked tougher questions of him as an incumbent regent that they had when he was first a candidate six years earlier.

He said he had gotten the legislators' message that they wanted the University to be more accountable for the 20 percent of its budget provided by the state.

Johnson spent 28 years in the Minnesota Legislature and ended his career after the 2006 election as majority leader of the Minnesota Senate. He is also a retired Brigadier General in the Minnesota National Guard and is a longtime pastor at Calvary Lutheran Church in Willmar.

-- Staff reports

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