Seifert named Minnesota House minority leaderby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Republicans in the Minnesota House have elected Marty Seifert of Marshall as House Minority Leader.
Seifert's first order of business will be to reorganize a caucus that lost its eight-year control of the Minnesota House. Democrats now have the majority after picking up 19 seats in the November election. They now hold 85 seats. Republicans have 49.
Seifert says they'll work with Democrats on things they can agree upon. But he also intends to play up the regional differences in House and Senate leadership. Both the speaker-elect and the Senate majority leader, both DFLers, represent Minneapolis. The House majority leader and the Senate Taxes Committee chair are from the Iron Range.
"The message from the DFL was that the inner city and the Iron Range run the place and that if you're from the suburbs or from non-Iron Range rural Minnesota, you are relegated to the subcommittee on irrelevancy," Seifert said.
This is the first leadership change for House Republicans since 1993. Steve Sviggum of Kenyon was elected Minority Leader that year and later became Speaker of the House when the GOP took the majority in 1998. Sviggum declined the leadership post after the November election.