Nov 14, 2022 - Politics

Meet Minnesota's new legislative leaders

Melissa Hortman, Kari Dzeidzic, Mark Johnson, Lisa Demuth

Melissa Hortman, Kari Dziedzic, Mark Johnson and Lisa Demuth Photos courtesy of the Minnestoa Legislature

Both chambers of the state Legislature will be led by lawmakers from the Twin Cities metro next year.

Driving the news: All four caucuses met late last week for leadership votes following Tuesday's midterms, which delivered Democrats narrow majorities in both the House and Senate.

Why it matters: Leaders play an influential role in setting the agendas — and political tone — at the Capitol. They'll be at the table with Gov. Tim Walz to hash out deals on the budget and other top issues.

What happened: Senate Democrats elected Sen. Kari Dziedzic, a legislative veteran who has represented Northeast Minneapolis since 2012, as the next majority leader.

  • Dziedzic, who led fundraising for the DFL's successful campaign to flip the Senate, succeeds Sen. Melisa Lopez Franzen, who did not run for re-election.
  • She's the daughter of longtime Minneapolis Council Member Walt Dziedzic.

House Democrats re-elected Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) and named Rep. Jamie Long of Minneapolis as majority leader and Rep. Athena Hollins of St. Paul as majority whip.

  • Long fills a leadership post left vacant by the departure of Rep. Ryan Winkler, who left the Legislature for a failed run for county attorney.

Senate Republicans selected Sen. Mark Johnson of East Grand Forks to lead their caucus.

  • Sen. Jeremy Miller, the current majority leader, was re-elected to the Senate but decided not to run for another term at the helm.

House Republicans replaced longtime leader Kurt Daudt with Rep. Lisa Demuth of Cold Spring.

  • She's the first Black lawmaker to serve as a caucus leader and the first woman to lead the House Republicans.

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