Mike Hatch grew up in Duluth and attended public schools. Mike still maintains ties to the family home in Battle Lake, Minnesota where his Norwegian grandmother settled in the 1800’s. After dropping out of college to join the Merchant Marine, Mike eventually graduated with honors from the University of Minnesota, Duluth.
Mike graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1973 and thereafter practiced law in a Minneapolis business law firm until 1980. Mike attended his first precinct caucus meeting in 1974 and, by 1980, was elected State Chair of the DFL Party, a position he held until 1983. When he became Chair, the DFL was reeling from the 1978 “Minnesota Massacre,” when the DFL lost two U.S. Senate seats, the Governorship, one Congressional seat, and the State House. The Party was broke, had not made a payment on an overdue mortgage, and didn't even own a computer. During his tenure as Chair the DFL paid off its mortgage, became the first state Democratic Party to computerize, issued a monthly newspaper, set a record for fundraising, and initiated an aggressive voter identification program. In 1982, the DFL won back the State House of Representatives, the Governorship, and was the only state to pick up two additional Congressional seats.
In 1983, Governor Rudy Perpich appointed Mike Commissioner of Commerce. As Minnesota's Commerce Commissioner from 1983-1989, Hatch was the primary regulator of banks, insurance companies, securities and real estate firms doing business in Minnesota. He streamlined the Commerce Department, resulting in a savings to taxpayers of nearly one-half million dollars per year. As Commerce Commissioner, Mike drafted and enforced corporate takeover laws in response to attempts by holding companies to acquire Dayton Hudson, Northwest Airlines, St. Paul Companies, Pillsbury, and other Minnesota companies. Mike also issued a report on medical malpractice insurance which found that insurers were overcharging for coverage. After Mike appeared in a national debate on Ted Koppel’s Nightline, the companies rolled back rates by one-third. Mike was also vigilant as the regulator of the securities and real estate industry, taking a number of actions against brokers that mislead investors. Faced with a rural economic crisis that caused the failure of both banks and farmers, Mike drafted and established a nationally recognized “Farm Interest Buying Down Program” to encourage banks to make operating loan.
From 1990 to 1998, Mike practiced law in Minneapolis. While he principally had a corporate practice, Mike received a national reputation for his work in representing breast cancer patients in their efforts to get access to new and innovative treatments.
In 1998 Mike was elected Attorney General, and was re-elected in 2002. Mike is the only statewide official in eight years to have received a majority of the vote.
Mike has been married to Patti, an elementary school teacher raised in Keewatin, for 28 years. Mike and Patti have three children, Katharine, Elizabeth, and Anne.