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Minnesota Legislature

House DFL again chooses Hortman as speaker; Republicans continue with Daudt

House Speaker Melissa Hortman pictured during an August special session. House DFLers chose Hortman to continue as speaker during the upcoming 2021-22 legislative session. Photo by Paul Battaglia

House DFLers on Thursday evening selected current House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) to continue in her post when the 92nd legislative session begins in January.

Hortman, elected to her ninth term on Election Day, will preside over a House controlled by a narrower DFL majority.

“I am honored to have the support of my colleagues to continue serving as Speaker of the House,” she said in a statement. “After being elected to another two-year majority, House Democrats are ready to continue our efforts to build a Minnesota that works better for everyone.”

Hortman has held several other leadership roles during her time in the House, including serving as minority leader from 2017-18, assistant majority leader and minority whip.

House speakers are formally elected by a full vote of the chamber on the legislative session’s opening day.

MORE: Learn more about the incoming Minnesota Legislature with our preliminary 2020 Election Directory

DFLers also chose House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley) to continue in his role during the upcoming biennium.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us, but House DFLers have governed effectively and we will continue to do so. It is going to take all of us working together to meet the challenges facing Minnesotans,” Winkler said.

The DFL appears to have a 70-64 advantage in the House when the new legislative session begins Jan. 5, based on the outcome of likely recounts in some of the tightest races around the state.

That majority is reduced from the 75-59 cushion the party enjoyed during the 2019-20 session, after Republican candidates recaptured some of the 18 seats DFL candidates gained during the 2018 election.


GOP members re-elect Daudt

House Republicans met Friday afternoon and also voted for continuity, re-electing House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) to lead their caucus during the upcoming biennium.

GOP officials issued a statement saying Daudt was elected by “unanimous voice acclimation” and members would meet at a later date to choose additional leaders.

"I'm humbled by the support of my colleagues in the House Republican caucus and look forward to utilizing my experience alongside the other legislative leaders and Gov. Walz on the immense challenges facing our state," Daudt said. "Minnesota faces a major budget deficit, and we will once again be putting together the next two-year budget as the only divided legislature in the nation. House Republicans are ready to get to work tackling our budget deficit, protecting taxpayers, and working to keep Minnesota communities safe."  

Daudt was first elected in 2010 and was assistant majority leader during his first term. He was elected minority leader the following biennium and served as House speaker from 2015 to 2018, before returning to his role as minority leader in 2019.

Assistant Editor Jon Mohr contributed to this story.

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