Walz Re-elected, Senate Flips to DFL Control


By Chad Fahning, MNAAP Lobbyist

DFL incumbents Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan were reelected to serve four more years in office. The DFL constitutional officers all went DFL as well, with Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, Secretary of State Steve Simon, and State Auditor Julie Blaha all winning reelection. In his concession, Walz’s challenger Scott Jensen, MD said it best: “Republicans, quite frankly, didn’t have a red wave. It was a blue wave.”

Minnesotans reelected a DFL majority in the Minnesota House of Representatives (70 DFL, 64 R) and flipped the Senate (34 DFL, 33 R) to give the DFL control of the House, Senate, and Governor’s office – something unseen since 2014.

Three physicians – Matt Klein, MD, Kelly Morrison, MD, and Alice Mann, MD – were elected, all to the Senate. Three candidates made history: Erin Maye Quade, Clare Oumou Verbeten, and Zaynab Mohamed became the first Black women ever elected to the Senate. Mohamed is also the youngest woman elected to the Senate at age 25. Leigh Finke became the first trans person to serve on the Minnesota legislature, and Alicia Kozlowski became Minnesota’s first non-binary legislator. Both will serve in the
Minnesota House.

Minnesotans voted in 71 non-incumbent legislators, making up a significant portion of the 201 total seats. Fifty-seven of those have never served in either body at any point.

In the days following the election, the caucuses announced leadership positions. Sen. Kari Dziedzic was voted to be the majority leader in the Senate. They also voted Sen. Bobby Joe Champion as president of the Senate and Sen. Ann Rest to chair the Tax Committee and Sen. John Marty to chair the Finance Committee. Mark Johnson was voted as the new minority leader in the Senate. Other positions will be announced in the coming weeks.

In the House, Rep. Melissa Hortman will remain speaker. Rep. Jamie Long was elected as the new majority leader. The House Republicans voted Rep. Lisa Demuth as the new House minority leader.

The DFL’s flipping control of the state Senate breaks Minnesota’s four-year streak of a divided legislature. The 93rd Minnesota legislature convenes on January 3, 2023. DFLers, who now hold “the trifecta” of power, will be charged with approving a state budget with a likely $9+ billion budget surplus before adjourning on May 22, 2023.

MNAAP will be sending biweekly updates throughout the legislative session.

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