Minn. Democrats select their leaders

Published 8:59 am Friday, November 9, 2012

ST. PAUL  — Democrats who won legislative majorities in Tuesday’s election are picking their top leaders.

The Senate DFL Caucus announced Sen. Tom Bakk’s election as majority leader Thursday on Twitter as the caucus met privately at a St. Paul hotel. Bakk, of Cook, led the Democratic minority for the past two years.

House Democrats picked current Minority Leader Paul Thissen of Minneapolis as speaker at a caucus meeting later Thursday. The House DFL also chose Rep. Erin Murphy as majority leader.

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Democrats won 39 of the Senate’s 67 seats and 73 of the House’s 134 seats two years after losing power to Republicans.

Their wins were made possible by DFL candidates who beat Republicans in suburbs like Eagan and Edina and regional centers including Willmar, Albert Lea, Owatonna and Moorhead.

The Democratic sweep fulfills Dayton’s wish for a more receptive Legislature after stubborn clashes with Republicans in the first two years of his term.