|U.S. Senator from Minnesota|
From: November 4, 2002 – January 3, 2003
Dean Barkley was a United States Senator for two months, from November 2002 to January 2003. Governor Jesse Ventura appointed him to fill the seat vacated by the death of Paul Wellstone.
Dean Barkley was a member of the Independence Party of Minnesota, formerly the Reform Party of Minnesota. He had previously directed the office of Minnesota Planning during the Jesse Ventura administration, and run twice for the U.S. Senate and once for the U.S. House on the Reform Party ticket. During his short term in the Senate, he chose not to caucus with either major party despite being courted by both.
He was the first member of the United States Senate from a "third party" since James L. Buckley was elected to the U.S. Senate on the Conservative Party of New York ticket (1971-1977).
In 2008 he was a candidate for U.S. Senate in a three-way race against Republican incumbent Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken, but came in a distant third place.