Brian Melendez, who had been the Minnesota DFL Party chair from 2005-2011, is the new managing partner in the Dykema Gossett law firm’s Minneapolis office.
Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports that Melendez left Faegre Baker Daniels in July to move to Dykema, and now replaces Joe Roach, the managing partner who left the firm last month.
Melendez has also been the Hennepin County Bar Association president (2001-2002) and Minnesota Bar Association president (2007-2008).
He decided at the end of 2010, after the recount in Mark Dayton’s gubernatorial win, not to seek another term as DFL chair. Ken Martin was then elected to head the state party.
In announcing that he wouldn’t run for party chair again, Melendez included this in a letter to DFL central committee members:
This job has been like getting a Ph.D. in human nature. I have seen the dark side of politics and people at their worst. But I have also seen politics and people at their best.
One of the most personally uplifting moments in my tenure occurred when the DFL senators and representatives in Congress let Donna, Andy, and me join them for one of their monthly lunchtime meetings in Washington. There I watched Representatives Collin Peterson and Keith Ellison engage each other on a complex, thorny issue of domestic policy over which they did not yet see eye to eye. But as they talked, several things became clear: each representative was the master of his brief, with an impressive array of facts and figures and arguments at his fingertips; each respected the other immensely; and they were each listening and learning, and deftly finding common ground.
I am so proud of them, and all our elected officials, who must wade through the cesspool of partisan politics simply for the opportunity of serving us and patiently building a better world.