uesday’s election exposed electoral challenges for both Democrats and Republicans moving forward. Democrats suffered all but one of their majority-costing statehouse losses in districts outside the Twin Cities and their suburbs.
The one-time car salesman from Crown became the GOP’s most powerful leader after taking Republicans from minority status to a 72-seat majority in the Minnesota House. Rep. Kurt Daudt, 41, becomes the second-most powerful politician in Minnesota, behind Gov. Mark Dayton. “It is the greatest honor of my life to be elected to be the next speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives,” Daudt said.
DFLers in the Minnesota House have elected Rep. Paul Thissen of Minneapolis as their new minority leader. Thissen had been House speaker. But with Republicans winning control of the Minnesota House in Tuesday’s elections, Democrats are returning to minority status in that chamber.
Minnesota voters gave Gov. Dayton a solid re-election victory. But unlike the last two years of Democratic dominance, Dayton’s fresh reality is a new Republican majority in the Minnesota House. “I’m proud to say that Democrats’ total control of state government in Minnesota is over,” said Rep. Kurt Daudt, the House minority leader. Exuberant Republicans will take back the House they lost just two years ago. That’s when they battled Gov. Dayton to a budget standoff, and a 17-day government shutdown — the longest in U.S. history.
There will be competition among Republicans for who leads the party’s new House majority. Minority Leader Kurt Daudt of Crown and former Majority Leader Matt Dean of Dellwood both say they’re running to be House speaker when the Legislature returns to action. They are asking for support from the 72-member caucus, which meets Friday to pick its leadership.
Minnesota House Republicans will come into next year’s legislative session with a majority and a tiny bit of breathing room.
Republicans have grabbed control of the Minnesota House and broken up the Democrats’ short run of one-party rule at the Capitol. House Speaker Paul Thissen conceded early Wednesday that Democrats had lost control of the chamber.
Election Day arrived in Minnesota with Democrats feeling good about sweeping the biggest races in the state — for governor and U.S. Senate — and perhaps all of the statewide offices. But the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party was fighting a rear-guard action to hang on to the Minnesota House, with plenty of incumbents at risk and Republicans needing just seven seats to bring back divided government for the first time since 2012.
Control of the Minnesota House hinged Tuesday on fewer than two dozen races where loads of money fed fierce contests between the Democrats in charge and the Republicans looking to take over.
Democrats seeking to maintain control of Minnesota’s House of Representatives have a hefty cash advantage heading into Election Day. Fundraising reports Tuesday show House Democrats’ campaign arm has more than $1 million on hand.
Gov. Mark Dayton rolled into this city’s old-brick main drag this week on a mission to save Rep. Shannon Savick, eagerly shaking hands and running down reasons voters should send her back to St. Paul for a second term. On Friday, Dayton was off to St. Cloud to help Rep. Zachary Dorholt, another freshman in a tough race.
A Minnesota House candidate is being sued in civil court after cutting his neighbor’s garage in half in a property dispute. A lawsuit filed by Mark Besemann, of Iron, against Roger Weber, a Nashwauk Republican, asks for $20,000 in damages to the garage and $20,000 in punitive damages.
State Rep. Jenifer Loon, the second-ranking Republican in the Minnesota House, has survived a primary challenge brought on by her vote in favor of gay marriage.
Republican Rep. Bob Barrett provided the state Supreme Court with a copy of his driver’s license and other evidence Thursday that he said proves he lives in his central Minnesota district.
The Minnesota Senate has passed an $846 million borrowing package for construction projects and sent it to Gov. Mark Dayton for his signature, finishing a crucial piece of business as lawmakers work toward adjournment. The bonding bill vote was 47-17, easily exceeding the required three-fifths majority.