Minnesota Sen. Mark Johnson was elected Thursday as the new leader of the Senate GOP caucus, replacing Sen. Jeremy Miller.
Sens. Julia Coleman, Justin Eichorn, Karin Housley, and Bill Weber will also serve in caucus leadership, Republicans announced at a press conference.
“Senate Republicans are focused on delivering for Minnesotans,” Johnson said. “The historic surplus should go back to the people. Crime is keeping too many people living in fear in their own homes. Democrats ran on tax cuts and supporting law enforcement and we will hold them accountable to their promises.”
Miller first assumed the majority leader position in September 2021 when Sen. Paul Gazelka stepped down to run for governor.
His caucus lost control of the Minnesota Senate for the first time in six years in Tuesday’s midterms, handing control of both chambers of the Minnesota Legislature to the DFL. When all is said and done, Democrats are expected to have a narrow 34-33 majority in the Senate.
Some crucial wins for Democrats came in Senate District 36, where incumbent Republican Roger Chamberlain was unseated by Democrat Heather Gustafson, and Senate District 41, which has yet to be officially called. In that race, Republican Tom Dippel trails Democrat Judy Seeberger 49.6% to 50.4%. State Rep. Tony Jurgens, a Republican who lost to Dippel in the primary, endorsed Seeberger.
Senate Democrats selected Sen. Kari Dziedzic as their new leader later Thursday afternoon. She will replace the retiring Sen. Melisa López Franzen. House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler is also retiring. It’s unclear if Rep. Kurt Daudt will stay on as House GOP leader.
In the House, the DFL is projected to hold a 70-64 seat majority. Both chambers combined are expected to have close to 70 new members.