1982 Litchfield High School graduate Dave Kleis was inducted into the Litchfield High School Hall of Fame on Friday night. Kleis spent 11 years in the Minnesota Senate and has been the mayor of St. Cloud since 2005.

Kleis was born in Litchfield in 1964, attended elementary school at St. Philip’s, and was involved in football, track, weightlifting and German Club when he attended Litchfield High School. He says he went right into the U.S. Air Force after high school and was stationed in Japan for a year and a half.

Kleis says, after the Air Force, he went to St. Cloud State, studied pre-law, but ended up with a history major, and got involved in the college Republicans because there was a girl in the club that he wanted to date, and that experience – which did not land him the girl – ended up launching his political career.

Kleis says his accomplishments in the Minnesota Senate included legalizing Texas Hold ‘em, outlawing smoking in prisons, and helping to make first degree murder sentences a life term without parole. He says as mayor of St. Cloud, he is proud of putting a budget together which spends less in inflationary dollars than 2008 levels while providing the same level of services.

Kleis says it’s an honor to be inducted into the Litchfield High School Hall of Fame. He says he attributes any success he’s had to his Litchfield education. Kleis has owned a driving academy business in St. Cloud for many years.