ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP/WCCO) — Minnesota’s new Republican lieutenant governor is being sued for trying to keep her seat in the state Senate.
Senate President Michelle Fischbach automatically became Gov. Mark Dayton’s second-in-command this month when Tina Smith resigned the job for a seat in the U.S. Senate. But Democrats vowed to sue Fischbach to force her out of the Senate.
A constituent from her central Minnesota district filed a lawsuit against Fischbach on Friday. It argues it’s unconstitutional to hold both offices.
Plaintiff Destiny Dusosky was chair of the district’s local Democratic party in 2017. Senate Republicans say they can’t comment until they’ve seen the lawsuit.
A special election for Fischbach’s district could give Democrats a shot at taking control of the Senate. Fischbach says she’ll run again if she’s forced to resign.
Fischbach released this statement Friday afternoon: “Despite the domino effect started by Sen. Franken’s resignation, my responsibilities as a senator have not changed. I will act as Lt. Governor as the Minnesota Constitution requires, but I remain committed to serving the people who elected me to the state senate.”
GOP Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka supported Fischbach in light of the lawsuit, saying, “This disappointing lawsuit is simply political maneuvering by Democrats to try to change the outcome of the 2016 election.”
DFL Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk said in a statement Friday that Fischbach is in “clear violation of the separation of powers,” adding, “I asked the lieutenant governor to consider resigning from the Senate in my Jan. 3 letter, which presented Lt. Gov. Fischbach an opportunity to do the right thing for the people in her district. I have yet to receive a response to my letter.”
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)