Are you wondering what impact Tuesday’s election will have? Here’s a digest of key results impacting Greater Minnesota schools, what’s happened since and what’s next. Here are the headlines and more details on each:
- The GOP makes state history.
- Senate GOP Majority Leader named today.
- More changes are expected, with a special election and new leaders.
- School referendum results split across Greater Minnesota.
Historical State Results
The implications of Tuesday’s election on state government are significant. Let’s just say the DFL is happy the Governor’s race wasn’t on the ballot this year. The Senate DFL majority was lost on election night and the GOP will control the body for a four-year term for the first time in state history.
The GOP will control the body with the slimmest of margins, 34-33. There will be two automatic recount in the race for state Senate, one in St. Cloud and one in Minnetonka where the GOP candidates are projected winners. Respectively, the 142 and 201 vote margins are too significant to overcome and therefore the election night results are all but final.
New Senate Leader Announced Today
The Senate GOP met in private caucus today and selected Sen. Paul Gazelka (GOP-Nisswa) as the new Senate Majority Leader who will officially take control of the chamber on January 3. Sen. Gazelka runs an insurance agency in Baxter. He was first elected to the House in 2004 and then to the Senate in 2010. He understands rural school issues well and has always had an open door policy with MREA. Congrats to the Senate GOP and new Majority Leader Paul Gazelka.
Learn about the Party Affiliation and Election Margin by Senate District
More Changes to Come
The House GOP Majority will grow from 73-61 to 76-57. One seat, 32B, was not determined this election due to a residency challenge. That seat will be filled in a February 14 special election and will likely stay in GOP hands and therefore grow the GOP majority to 77-57. Speaker Kurt Daudt is consolidating his power after a major win on Tuesday. He is a likely GOP Gubernatorial candidate in 2018.
The DFL minority caucuses will also select new leadership. Sen. Bakk and Reps. Thissen and Erin Murphy have told their caucuses they will step aside so they can select new leaders. Potential Senate DFL leaders include Scott Dibble (Minneapolis), Kari Diedzic (Minneapolis) and Tony Lourey (Mora). Potential House DFL leaders include Melissa Hortman (Brooklyn Park), Deb Hilstrom (Brooklyn Center) and Paul Marquart (Dilworth).
School Referendum Results
Greater Minnesota voters proved to be split on their support of operating referendum and school facility bond elections. On Tuesday, 33 school districts in Greater Minnesota asked their voters for operating referendum increases and renewals.
Rural increases in operating referendums were evenly divided. Eight districts’ voters approved at least on question (10 questions) and nine did not (12 questions). The two metropolitan districts seeking referendum increases received voter approval. All 12 renewals were approved by voters.
Four bond requests in Greater Minnesota were approved, the largest was a $104 million request in St. Cloud for a new high school to replace Tech High School. Five bond requests were denied including a $79 million question for a new high school in Worthington. The one metro bond request was approved.
A special thanks to MSBA for providing the election results.