Democrats elect their new leaders
Two days after their massive electoral comeback at the polls, legislative Democrats elected their new leaders. In both the House and Senate, DFL members on Thursday rewarded the individuals that helped them reclaim control of both chambers.
Senate Democrats elected Sen. Tom Bakk of Cook to be Senate Majority Leader. He had served the past two years as minority leader. In the House, the DFL caucus named current House Minority Leader Paul Thissen of Minneapolis as their choice for Speaker of the House.
No southeast Minnesota lawmakers got picked for the other key legislative positions. Here's the list of other lawmakers getting the leadership nod. In the Senate, Sen. Katie Sieben of Newport was elected assistant majority leader and Sen. Sandy Pappas was chosen as the next president of the Senate. Sen. Rich Cohen, of St. Paul, was named chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and Sen. Rod Skoe of Clearbrook will be chairman of the Senate Taxes Committee.
In the House, members chose Rep. Erin Murphy of St. Paul as majority leader. She played a key role in helping recruit candidates for the election.
Rep. Kim Norton, DFL-Rochester, said she did have some concerns about the top House leadership spots being held by two metro-area lawmakers. Rep. Paul Marquart of Dilworth also ran for the post. But in the end, Norton said she expects Murphy will do a good job.
"I was just concerned with the two Twin City representatives at the top, and I would have much preferred having geographical balance," she said.