ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Michelle Fischbach, Minnesota’s new lieutenant governor, declined to be interviewed Wednesday, and a Republican spokesman says there are “no plans” for her to take the oath of office.
There’s a controversy at the capitol over her intention to hold two offices; that of lieutenant governor and state senator.
Fischbach, the state senate president, plays a prominent role in the Republican majority.
But the constitutional line of succession elevates her to lieutenant governor for Democrat Mark Dayton.
She said in December she can legally serve in both offices, and won’t give up her central Minnesota state Senate seat.
“I was elected by the constituents of Senate District 13, and I have a commitment to represent them in the senate,” she said last month.
On her first official day as lieutenant governor, Fischbach downplayed the new role, calling herself “acting lieutenant governor.” Additionally, she said she won’t accept a salary.
“The position of Lieutenant Governor has no constitutional duties,” she said in a statement.
Fischbach, a conservative, has begun forging an awkward political partnership with the liberal governor.
The two had a getting-to-know-you lunch that they both described as cordial.
Still, she says she understands that her main duty is to serve as governor should anything happen to Dayton.
Meanwhile, the governor is insisting that he’ll be fine.
“I’ll do my best to stay healthy so she gets to be lieutenant governor for the next 400-some days,” he said.
Late Wednesday, State Senate Democratic Minority Leader Tom Bakk sent a letter to Fischbach, calling on her to resign from the Senate.
He said the Minnesota Constitution prohibits her from simultaneously holding the offices of state senator and lieutenant governor.
Expect court action soon.