MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota voters gave Gov. Mark 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.READ MORE: MN Dept. Of Human Rights: Brooklyn Center Police, Michaels Store Discriminated Against Black Teenager
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.
Dayton says it’s up to Republicans to prove they won’t consider it again.
“We’ll have to see if they’re willing to take a more responsible tack,” Dayton said. “I hope they will, and I’m certainly willing to do my part. But it takes two to tango, and, you know, you can’t dance alone.”
In fact, Republicans says they have no immediate plans to press the issues they campaigned against: Demanding changes at MNsure, repealing high-income tax hikes or stopping the controversial new Senate Office Building.
“We really are dedicated to coming here to St. Paul,” Daudt said. “We want to roll up our sleeves and get to work for Minnesotans on the problems that they care about. If Democrats are on the same page, we’re gonna get along just fine.”READ MORE: Target Lowers Seasonal Hiring Goals Due To Tough Labor Market
Despite his fractious history with Republican lawmakers, Dayton says he’s also prepared to compromise.
“When you run for office you deal with rhetoric,” Dayton said. “When you serve in office you deal with the reality.”
Republicans say they took back the House majority because Minnesota Democrats were “metro-centric,” and did not pay enough attention to rural Minnesota.
And Gov. Dayton says he survived the Republican tidal wave because the state’s economy is doing so well.
The governor says this will be his final term, and that will change the way he will approach the next four years.MORE NEWS: Osakis Public School Closed, Students Evacuated Due To Bomb Threat
He’s also on an island, with Republican governors in states all around Minnesota. He told WCCO Wednesday we’re going to see “Dayton Unbound” in the next four years.