ST. PAUL (WCCO) — On Tuesday there was a big move on at the Minnesota State Capitol — literally. For the first time in four decades, Democrats who lost the election are moving out and victorious Republicans are moving in.
At the Capitol, the power of a politician can sometimes be measured by the same standard as real estate — location, location, location.READ MORE: Sign Bearing George Floyd's Name Unveiled At 38th And Chicago
It’s a tangible sign at the Capitol of the imminent power shift. For Democrats, moving on out and for Republicans, moving on up.
“This is bigger than anything we’ve ever done,” said Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch.
Republicans like Koch have occupied the cramped cubicles at the State Office Building since the early 1970s.
Now, she’s leading the new Republican Majority to the Promised Land — and that includes spacious Capitol digs.READ MORE: 'It's Bizarre': Southern Minnesota Ghost Town Still Attracting Summer Visitors
“We celebrated for about a day, and then you start to realize, wow, we’re going to get the budget forecast Thursday and you’re going to get the unemployment numbers, so that hits you very hard,” said Koch.
“This is about as close as you get to a congressional office on the State Capitol,” said Democratic leader Tom Bakk as he puts things in boxes.
For Bakk, it’s bittersweet. He’s leaving behind the 15-foot ceilings and million dollar views of the mall. He’s on his way to the offices Republicans are vacating.
“What’s really hard about this move is over the years I have built relationships with people, and we’re going to be laying off, the DFL Senate is going to be laying off about 40 people,” he said.
That’s what happens when there is a change in power. The DFL is laying off dozens of staffers and the Republicans are hiring. Nobody at the Capitol has ever seen anything like this before.MORE NEWS: Sign Bearing George Floyd's Name Unveiled At 38th And Chicago: 'This Is Just Another Step Forward'
WCCO-TV’s Pat Kessler Reports