Republican House Leaders To Stay In Place

Forum News Service photo by Don Davis

When the Minnesota legislative session begins on January 3, 2017, the Minnesota House Republicans will retain their top leaders following a victorious election season for the GOP.

During a Republican closed-door caucus meeting, House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Zimmerman, and House Majority Leader Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers were unanimously re-elected to their leadership positions.

After Tuesday’s election, Republicans increased their house majority to a 76-57 advantage over the DFL.

In a press release, Speaker Daudt said that he was proud to earn the support of his peers to remain speaker and that voters chose “common sense and compromise” over Governor Mark Dayton’s wish for all DFL control.

“We will do everything in our power to respect the clear direction Minnesotans have given us,” Daudt said.  Daudt has been the speaker for the past two years and has previously served as minority leader.  He was first elected to the Minnesota House in 2010.

Joyce Peppin has been house majority leader the past two years.

On Thursday, Senator Paul Gazelka was elected by his Republican colleagues to be the new senate majority leader while the DFL re-elected Sen. Tom Bakk as their leader.  House DFLers chose Rep. Melissa Hortman as their minority leader after Rep. Paul Thissen stepped down from his leadership post.

Republicans have a narrow 34-33 majority in the senate after flipping six seats in Tuesday’s election.

Donna Azarian