Thursday, November 6, 2008

Election results are in

Legislative Update
November 6, 2008

Election Outcomes

While the dust has not yet settled on all of Tuesday’s election outcomes, the Minnesota State Legislature races have been determined. The Minnesota House of Representatives will have 23 new members when the 86th Legislative session begins on January 6, 2009. There are 12 new Republican members and 11 new DFL members. Democrats increased their numbers by two seats and now hold 87 seats. Ninety votes are needed for a gubernatorial override. Republicans retained enough seats to ensure against a veto-override majority, and now sit at 47 seats.

Final numbers will not be certified until the State Canvassing Board meets later this month. In addition to a close review of the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Senator Norm Coleman and challenger Al Franken, the Office of the Secretary of State may determine that two House races will require a recount:
District 12B incumbent Al Doty, DFL-Royalton, leads Mike Lemieur by 76 votes
District 16A incumbent Sondra Erickson, R-Princeton, trails Gail Kulick Jackson by 99 votes

New members-elect include:

Paul Anderson, R-Starbuck
Bobby Joe Champion, DFL-Minneapolis
Greg Davids, R-Preston
Connie Doepke, R-Wayzata
Keith Downey, R-Edina
Andrew Falk, DFL-Murdock
Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis
Kory Kath, DFL-Owatonna
Tim Kelly, R-Red Wing
Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake
Gail Kulick Jackson, DFL-Milaca - pending possible recount
Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie
Tara Mack, R-Apple Valley
Mark Murdock, R-Ottertail
Jerry Newton, DFL-Coon Rapids
Mike Obermueller, DFL-Eagan
John Persell, DFL-Bemidji
Roger Reinert, DFL-Duluth
Paul Rosenthal, DFL-Edina
Tim Sanders, R-Blaine
Peggy Scott, R-Andover
Phil Sterner, DFL-Rosemount
Paul Torkelson, R-St. James

The 2008 Election Directory of the 2009-2010 Minnesota Legislature is now available based on unofficial results compiled by the Office of the Secretary of State:

The membership roster for 2009-2019 is also available on line at:
As the 2009 legislative session approaches, the 23 new members, along with the 111 incumbents, will be faced with a potential multi-billion dollar budget deficit. Majority Leader Tony Sertich, DFL-Chisholm said, “We’ll wait to see what the budget forecast is at the end of November, and see what the governor comes up with. We have to do our work and oversight and then see what comes out of the February forecast before we can really figure out what the size of the issue will be.” Sertich also said that the plan is to reach out to the minority caucus and Gov. Tim Pawlenty to construct bipartisan solutions.

Minority Leader Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, noted that the election results were not as bad as they could have been. He said many members of his caucus are relieved that Democrats fell short of their goal of achieving a 90-person supermajority, which would have allowed them to override a gubernatorial veto.

If interested, the House of Representatives television archives web page has posted post-election press conferences held Wednesday of this week. Majority Leader Tony Sertich, DFL-Chisholm, and Minority Leader Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, both held press conferences to discuss the election results. You may view them at

On the federal side, the 111th Congress begins at noon January 3, 2009. Minnesota will send one new member to the U.S. House of Representatives. Congressman Jim Ramstad from District 3 retired and will be replaced by Congressman-elect Erik Paulsen. The outcome of the U.S. Senate race is yet to be finalized. With less than 500 votes dividing the two candidates, there will be an automatic recount.

Minnesota Congressional Representatives:
District 1: Tim Walz (DFL)
District 2: John Kline (R)
District 3: Erik Paulsen (NEW - R)
District 4: Betty McCollum (DFL)
District 5: Keith Ellison (DFL)
District 6: Michele Bachmann (R)
District 7: Collin Peterson (DFL)
District 8: Jim Oberstar (DFL)

What do the presidential election results mean for higher education? During President-elect Obama’s campaign, he discussed policy issues and proposals dealing with higher education. Inside Higher Ed shares some of the highlights of Obama’s higher education platform, including loan program reforms, access to higher education through a tax credit to cover the first $4,000 in college costs, grant program for community colleges, science and technology investments and affirmative action. You may read more at

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