Kurt Daudt successor sworn in at Capitol

Self-described "common-sense conservative" Bryan Lawrence replaces Kurt Daudt in House District 27B after sailing to victory in a March 19 special election.

Bryan Lawrence of Baldwin Township (south of Princeton). (Minnesota House Info/YouTube)

When lawmakers returned to the Capitol on Tuesday, after a four-day Easter break, it was the first time during the 2024 legislative session that Republicans in the House of Representatives had 64 members among their caucus.

Bryan Lawrence of Baldwin Township (which lies just south of Princeton) was sworn in on the House floor Tuesday afternoon, with his wife and four children by his side.

The farmer and longtime township supervisor in Sherburne County will fill the House District 27B seat left vacant in February by the resignation of longtime Republican legislative leader Kurt Daudt.

A self-described “common-sense conservative,” Lawrence said he’s ready to step in and make an impact, even with just less than eight weeks remaining before lawmakers adjourn on May 20. He joins 10 other farmer-legislators at the Capitol, all Republican serving in the House.

He also plans to run again this November for a full term, when Daudt’s two-year term expires.

“These past two years have been marred with wasteful and irresponsible spending under one-party Democrat control,” said Lawrence, whose most recent political involvement includes serving on the Baldwin Township Board and volunteering on Daudt’s 2022 re-election campaign. “That includes raising taxes across the state and making everyday necessities like food and gas more expensive for Minnesota families. With my wide variety of experience, I can help restore balance and common sense here in St. Paul.”

Lawrence will serve as a member of the House Children and Families Finance and Policy Committee and House Education Finance Committee, two areas of government he holds near and dear to his heart — partly because he still has children in school and partly because his district has so many families.

“The number one question I am asked is about education,” Lawrence said during a recent interview with Session Daily. “Not only about education and the concern for our public schools and making sure that it’s supported, but in addition to that the parents that are involved in their children’s education, whether they choose to do homeschool or go to private school, just making sure I believe in those opportunities as well.”

Replacing a legislative leader

While Lawrence said news of Daudt’s decision to walk away from the legislature one day before the 2024 session began came as a shock to many in the communities Daudt had represented since 2011, he expressed appreciation for Daudt’s leadership at the Capitol, which includes stints as house speaker and minority leader.

“Kurt served in this role very, very well,” Lawrence said. “And we appreciate his leadership that he put in here.”

Lawrence had been closely involved with local Republican politics but said he didn’t decide to run to fill Daudt’s shoes until after he was approached about the opportunity shortly following Daudt’s announcement in January.

“It was one of those things when you get a call from a prominent individual, prominent people, in your community, encouraging you to do something, (my) heart really leapt with excitement and anticipation at the possibility of serving as a House district representative.”

Lawrence received more than 85 percent of the vote during the March 19 special election that was required by state statute. His DFL opponent, Brad Brown, actually fared better when he challenged Daudt in 2022, when he earned almost 27 percent of the vote. Lawrence performed even better when he won the February Republican primary with 91 percent of the vote against realtor Rachel Davis.

A native of the north metro, Lawrence graduated from Coon Rapids High School in 1988 and then attended the University of Minnesota, where he earned a degree in Agricultural Business Administration. He went into the family farming business and for the last 28 years has raised four children with his wife Marytina.


Hank Long

Hank Long is a journalism and communications professional whose writing career includes coverage of the Minnesota legislature, city and county governments and the commercial real estate industry. Hank received his undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota, where he studied journalism, and his law degree at the University of St. Thomas. The Minnesota native lives in the Twin Cities with his wife and four children. His dream is to be around when the Vikings win the Super Bowl.