New leadership takes shape

Republicans in the Minnesota Senate today picked Sen. Amy Koch, R-Buffalo, as their new Majority Leader.

The caucus vote makes Koch the first woman to lead the chamber. Tuesday’s election gave Republicans control of the Senate for the first time in 38 years. The GOP also won back control of the Minnesota House. Sen. David Senjem, R-Rochester, who served the past four years as GOP Minority Leader, took himself out of the running before the afternoon meeting. Update: Senate Republicans also nominated Sen. Michelle Fischbach of Paynesville to be the next President of the Minnesota Senate.

Meanwhile, the newly selected leaders of the DFL minorities in the Minnesota House and Senate held a news conference and pledged to hold Republicans accountable during a Legislative session that will be focused on solving a projected $5.8 billion state budget deficit. Rep. Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, is the new House Minority Leader. Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, is the new Senate Minority Leader.

The remaining leadership decisions are expected tomorrow. House Republicans are expected to promote Rep. Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, from Minority Leader to Speaker of the House. They are also expected to pick a Majority Leader.

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