During the early part of her two-plus decades in the state Legislature, retired Republican Sen. Pat Pariseau remembers being just one of a handful of Minnesota legislators who could call themselves members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
Moderate legislators are hard to come by these days. By most accounts, last fall’s election saw voters oust most of the middle-of-the-road DFLers in the Minnesota House and replace them with a spate of freshman Republicans elected on a strong right-wing wave that swept the nation.
Last Wednesday, just a day after new Republican legislative majorities unveiled their downsized committee structure, it rained gavels at the Capitol. Incoming caucus leaders Amy Koch and Kurt Zellers handed down a total of 40 chair appointments as a substantial contingent of the anointed stood beaming at their side.
The restructuring of the caucus and its chairs by a new leadership team is widely expected to produce a decidedly conservative shift on the part of Senate Republicans, who in recent years have built a more centrist track record than their increasingly conservative House colleagues.
Fourteen Republican state legislators, including gubernatorial nominee Tom Emmer, received perfect ratings from Minnesota Majority for their voting records during the 2010 legislative session. Conversely, seven state senators, all Democrats, received zero ratings from the conservative advocacy group.
The door marked “exit” at the Minnesota state Capitol will get a workout at the end of the 2010 session, with 17 legislators (so far) announcing that they’re not seeking re-election in the fall.
Republicans are sensing blood in the water of more than a dozen state House and Senate districts, and they’re circling.
If it’s possible to judge a legislator’s re-election vulnerability solely on the number of challengers that he or she attracts, then Lisa Fobbe, Jim Carlson and Kevin Dahle should probably watch their backs.
Dave Thompson, the former AM 1500 conservative talk show host and 2008 candidate for GOP state party chair, was endorsed to run as the GOP candidate for the seat being vacated by Sen. Pat Pariseau (R-Farmington) last Saturday.
Eight Minnesota legislative incumbents -- five DFLers and three Republicans -- are facing challenges from members of their own parties this year, not counting six incumbents who have said that they aren't seeking re-election and have fellow party members lining up to succeed them.
Minnesota state Sen. Pat Pariseau, R-Farmington, does not plan to seek an eighth term in the Senate, she announced today.
Fifteen more Minnesotans have registered campaign committees with the state to run for the state Legislature this year -- and one has dropped out of a House race in the east metro.
- Federal judge rules for students with disabilities in age-cutoff case
- Justices remand Duluth dispute
- Legal education for incarcerated students expands
- Hamline prof dismissed over Muhammad image can proceed with lawsuit
- Supreme Court backs woman’s false-reporting conviction
- Pot smell not enough for search
- Cash bail disproportionately impacts people of color
- Wisconsin court candidates often speak out on hot topics