Zellers leaving leadership post after DFL drubbing

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Republicans in the Minnesota House are looking for a new leader now that Speaker Kurt Zellers says he doesn’t want the job. Zellers made the announcement one day after Democrats won enough seats to win the House and Senate.

Zellers says a number of factors played into why they lost the House majority. He said heavy spending by Democrats and negative campaigning are two of them. But he downplayed any suggestion that opposition to the two proposed constitutional amendments sunk legislative candidates.

“Minnesotans always go out and vote,” Zellers said. That’s what we do really well here so whether or not it was a motivational factor for most voters, I think it was right on or pretty darn close to a traditional presidential year in Minnesota.”]

On Tuesday, voters defeated a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and an amendment that would require photo identification to vote. Democratic leaders say opposition to the two amendments galvanized the DFL base especially among young and minority voters.

Zellers said Republicans will continue to stick to a no new taxes philosophy and warned a tax increase is likely now that Democrats are in control of the Legislature.

“If you’re a business owner in the state of Minnesota, I would get ready for a pretty sizable tax increase,” Zellers said.

Republicans will meet this weekend to elect a new Minority Leader. GOP House Majority Leader Matt Dean says he’s interested in the position.

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