Senate Leader Paul Gazelka is currently serving his third term in the Minnesota State Senate. He represents Senate District 9, which includes communities in Cass, Morrison, Todd, and Wadena counties in north-central Minnesota.

Gazelka was first elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2005, where he served one term. In 2010, Gazelka was elected to the Senate and was re-elected in 2012 and 2016. After Republicans gained the Senate majority following the 2016 election, Gazelka was elected by his colleagues to serve as majority leader.

Born in St. Paul, Gazelka attended Roosevelt High School in Virginia, Minnesota and the University of Minnesota-Duluth, before graduating from Oral Roberts University with a degree in business management. He currently owns and operates an insurance agency in Baxter. He is also the author of Marketplace Ministers: Awakening God’s People in the Workplace to Their Ultimate Purpose.

An active member of the community, Gazelka has served as school board chairman, president of the local Chamber of Commerce, president of the local Kiwanis Club, a youth basketball coach, and volunteer for Teen Challenge and Habitat for Humanity. He was also president of Heartland Christian Academy in Bemidji and is active in his church. Gazelka and his wife, Maralee, have five children and three grandchildren and make their home in Nisswa.