Minnesota DFL, GOP lawmakers elect new party leaders

(KSTP) – Minnesota state lawmakers voted in new party leaders on Thursday for the 2023 legislative session.

Kari Dziedzic of Minneapolis was elected as the Senate majority leader for Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin shared this statement as part of the announcement:

“Congratulations to Senator Kari Dziedzic on her election as the Minnesota Senate majority leader. I have known Senator Dziedzic for a long time and she has the vision and the drive to lead Senate DFLers forward into this exciting new time for our party and our state. The people of Minnesota have placed their trust in us, and I am confident that Senator Dziedzic, her leadership team, and our new majorities have what it takes to deliver for Minnesotans.”

Dziedzic takes over the role of outgoing Sen. Melisa López Franzen, who opted not to run for reelection.

The Minnesota House DFL announced it reelected state Representative Melissa Hortman as Speaker-designate at their organizational caucus Thursday evening.

“I am honored to have the support of my colleagues to continue serving as Speaker of the House,” said Speaker Hortman. “The Minnesota House DFL Majority is looking forward to working with Governor Walz and the incoming Senate DFL majority to protect reproductive freedom, invest in our public schools, make health care more affordable, and to build an economy that works better for everyone.”

Rep. Jamie Long was elected as majority leader, with Rep. Athena Hollins elected as majority whip.

“I am grateful to my colleagues for trusting me with this leadership role,” said Rep. Long. “We have an incredible opportunity to respond to the pressing needs of Minnesotans and improve lives.”

Senate Republicans announced in a news release that they elected Sen. Mark Johnson, R-East Grand Forks, as Senate minority leader for the next legislative session.

“Senate Republicans are focused on delivering for Minnesotans,” Johnson said. “The historic surplus should go back to the people. Crime is keeping too many people living in fear in their own homes. Democrats ran on tax cuts and supporting law enforcement and we will hold them accountable to their promises.” 

Current Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, did not seek a leadership post.

The GOP also announced their Senate Republican Leadership Team, which will include Senators Julia Coleman, R-Waconia, Justin Eichorn, R-Grand Rapids, Karin Housley, R-Stillwater, and Bill Weber, R-Luverne.

The Minnesota GOP said a deputy leader and assistant leader will be named at a later date.

The House GOP caucus has yet to vote on their party leaders for next session.