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Jim Knoblach Bio, Biography, Age, Wife (Janet), Children, Daughter (Laura Knoblach) Sexual Abuse Claims, Minnesota politician

21st September of 2018, Knoblach drops re-election bid after MPR News publish an account from his daughter (Laura Knoblach) detailing years of sexual abuse.

Jim Knoblach Biography

Jim Knoblach Bio

Jim Knoblach was born in November 1957. He is a Minnesota politician and member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. A member of the Republican Party of Minnesota, he represents District 14B in central Minnesota.
Jim Knoblach Personal details
Jim Knoblach Age Born in November 1957 (age 60) in St. Cloud, Minnesota
Jim Knoblach Political party Republican Party of Minnesota
Jim Knoblach Wife Janet Knoblach
Jim Knoblach Children Laura Knolbach and 1 son
Residence St. Cloud, Minnesota
Jim Knoblach Education Saint John’s University (B.S.)
Harvard University (M.B.A.)
Georgetown University (M.A.)
Occupation small business owner
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives from the 14B district
Assumed office
January 6, 2015
Preceded by Zach Dorholt
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives from the 15A district
16B (1995–2007)
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 2, 2007
Preceded by Dave Gruenes
Succeeded by Steve Gottwalt

Jim Knoblach Drops  re-election after Daughter’s (Laura Knoblach) Sexual Abuse Claims

On Friday, 21st September of 2018, Knoblach dropped his re-election bid after MPR News published an account from his daughter (Laura Knoblach) detailing years of sexual abuse.

MPR reported that Knoblach’s daughter, Laura, currently aged 23, went on the record with the radio station “after exhausting other means to hold her father accountable.” She “supplied extensive documentation about her attempts to get help,” MPR reported. She told MPR that his father, Jim Knoblach inappropriately touched her for most of her life, “with her first memories starting when she was 9 years old.”  She also stated that a close friend—who knew that she was working through the trauma from her past—sexually assaulted her when she was 20.

Laura Knoblach, an accomplished triathlete, at her home in Boulder, Colo., on Thursday, July 5, 2018.
Laura Knoblach, an accomplished triathlete, at her home in Boulder, Colo., on Thursday, 5th July 2018.

Jim Knoblach Early life and education

Knoblach spent his early childhood in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. He attended local public schools and graduated from Madison Elementary, North Junior High, and in 1976 from Apollo High School. He then proceeded to Saint Cloud State University and Saint John’s University, graduating in 1979 with a B.S. in economics and business administration. He is a Certified Public Accountant having obtained the license in 1979. Knoblach was then accepted at Harvard Business School, where he graduated with an M.B.A. in 1981. He later attended Georgetown University, graduating with an M.A. in American government in 1987, and also interned with U.S. Senator Dave Durenberger.

Jim Knoblach Business career

Knoblach’s first job was as a carpenter’s assistant for Master Builders, during high school and college. He had started working for his father’s real estate company, Mark’s Realty, and obtained a real estate sales license. After he graduated from Harvard, he returned to work at his father’s real estate company, but left in late 1982 to purchase Coldwell Banker, Crown Realtors in Alexandria. He continues to own Crown with a partner today, doing real estate brokerage, investment, and management in central and western Minnesota. In 1983 Knoblach became a general manager at MediSense Inc. in Minneapolis. In 1984 he purchased a line of their research products, which he later sold before moving to Washington DC in 1986. Upon returning to Minnesota in 1987, Knoblach started North Star Direct, a firm that did direct mail, data processing and specialty printing, which he sold in 1993. In 2006 Knoblach took a position as president of Space Data Corporation, an Arizona-based communications company. He left in 2007 and did medical device consulting in Minnesota until 2009 when he refocused on his real estate investment business.

Jim Knoblach Minnesota House of Representatives

Knoblach was first elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1994 and served until early 2007 after declining to run in the 2006 election. During his years in office, Knoblach chaired the House Capital Investment Committee for two terms (1999-2002) and the House Ways and Means Committee for two terms (2003-06). Knoblach served as the chair for the House Republican Election Committee from 1997 to 2001, during which time House Republicans took the majority for the first time in 14 years, in 1998, and kept the majority for the first time in over 25 years, in 2000. Knoblach was also an Assistant Majority Leader. He ran for the Republican nomination for Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District in 2006 but came in second of four to Michele Bachmann, who was then elected to Congress. In 2014 Knoblach ran for State Representative in a different, more Democrat-leaning district, and narrowly defeated incumbent Zach Dorholt in what was then the most expensive State Representative race in Minnesota history. Knoblach was later named to chair the House Ways and Means Committee again. Knoblach defeated Dorholt again in 2016 in the most expensive State Representative race in Minnesota history and continues to chair the Ways and Means Committee.


Jim Knoblach Personal life

Knoblach and his wife, Janet, married in 1988. The couple has two children and resides in St. Cloud. He serves on the St. Cloud Salvation Army Advisory Board, the Central Minnesota Council Boy Scout Board, and the Big Brothers Big Sisters Advisory Board, and is a member of the St. Cloud Rotary. He was previously a member of the St. John’s University Board of Regents, the Board of the Saint Cloud Christian School, and several other boards.

Jim Knoblach with family in 2008
Jim Knoblach with family in 2008

Jim Knoblach Statement on her daughter’s Allegations

“Our daughter has been estranged from our family for some time. In late 2016 she made some extremely hurtful and untrue accusations on a Facebook post, which was briefly put up and then taken down. These accusations were fully investigated by Sherburne County, dismissed, and the case closed in April 2017.

“I appreciate my wife, my son, our parents and the rest of my family standing with me in the face of these accusations. Last week I learned my daughter had contacted Minnesota Public Radio seven months ago, and that MPR was preparing a story on her allegations.  I love my children more than anything, and would never do anything to hurt them. Her allegations are false. I and other family members have made repeated attempts to reconcile with her in recent years, but she has refused.

“I could fight on for another six weeks to defend my reputation while running for re-election. But this would entail subjecting my wife, son, and elderly parents, as well as my daughter, to six weeks of extreme stress and scrutiny. I’m also not willing to spend six weeks fighting with my daughter in the media. As a result, I feel I have no choice but to effectively end my campaign today so that I can work towards healing my family.

“It has been the greatest honor of my life to represent my hometown in the Legislature.  I want to thank my many supporters for their years of support.  I have done the best I can to represent my district in Saint Paul, and will continue to contribute in other ways. I will now complete the term voters elected me to serve and help constituents who contact me every day.

“As indescribably hurtful as these circumstances are, my wife and I love our daughter, and we look forward to the day when we can somehow again be a happy family.”


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