MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In just six weeks the Minnesota legislature goes back to work with a dramatically different balance of power in effect.

Minnesota Republicans picked up 11 House seats, allowing them to gain control of the chamber.

Rep. Kurt Daudt is one of those credited with engineering the takeover and, as Speaker-designate of the Minnesota House, he is the GOP’s most powerful leader.

When the 41-year-old, one-time car salesman from Crown assumes office in January, he’ll be the second-most powerful politician in Minnesota, behind Gov. Mark Dayton.

Daudt was in the WCCO-TV studio to talk with Esme Murphy on Sunday morning about how the Republicans retook the House.

“We worked really hard, and we had great candidates,” he said. We spent the last two years out talking to Minnesotans, finding candidates who would connect with Minnesotans in their district. We worked hard getting the message out that Republicans have a plan for economic growth and improving family’s lives.”

He also spoke about the party’s opposition to gay marriage playing a role in the winning of seats in rural Minnesota. But he said it was unlikely Republicans would seek to reverse the gay marriage law in an upcoming legislative session.

“I think it probably played a role in the victory, but there were also a couple rural Democrats who voted against same-sex marriage who also lost, so we know that it wasn’t the only factor,” he said. “The same Senate that passed same-sex marriage is the same Senate that’s in place now. I think that issue’s behind us.”

Watch the full interview in the video above.

 

Esme Murphy

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