Michael J. O’Connor of Brandon died on October 24, 2018. O’Connor served in the State House of Representatives from 1971-72, and in the State Senate from 1973-77 and 1981-82. He was the Senate’s president pro tempore in 1975-76 and the chamber’s assistant minority leader in 1977.
In 1982, O’Connor was the Democratic nominee for governor. He won a Democratic primary against Elvern Varilek, a state legislator and farmer from Geddes. O’Connor’s running mate was Willis Danekas, a farmer and state legislator from Raymond. The O’Connor/Danekas ticket lost to the Republican incumbents, Gov. Bill Janklow and Lt. Gov. Lowell Hansen.