Just hours after winning control of the House and Senate, DFL legislative leaders gathered with Gov. Mark Dayton at the Capitol. For the first time in two decades, Democrats control all three levers of power in St. Paul.
House Minority Leader Paul Thissen and Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk offered conciliatory rhetoric towards their GOP counterparts. “It’s time to leave the campaign behind,” Bakk said. “The election is over.”
The trio of DFL politicians evaded questions about whether complete Democratic control would lead to tax increases on wealthier residents, as Dayton has repeatedly backed. Bakk suggested instead that the emphasis would be on scrutinizing the tax code and pointed out that he had reached out to the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. “I really want to engage the business community in a tax-reform discussion,” he said.
Thissen also held a briefing to introduce incoming DFL members of the House. Among the swing district winners present at the briefing: Laurie Halverson (51B), Joe Radinovich (10B), Yvonne Selcer (48A) and JoAnn Ward (53A).
The DFL House caucus will meet Thursday night to elect leadership positions. Reps. Erin Murphy, of St. Paul, who led their campaign apparatus, and Paul Marquart, of Dilworth, are expected to seek the majority leader post. Thissen is slated to become the next Speaker of the House.