Incoming Minnesota Governor Walz has wisely appointed DFL state senator Tony Lourey to head the Department of Human services. Tony is the son of Becky Lourey, one of the “mothers of Minnesota Care” who flipped her house district from red to blue in 1990 and did the same with her senate district in 1996, unseating notorious anti-gay bigot Florian Chmielewski and twice came close to winning the DFL endorsement for governor. Becky did not seek re-election in 2006, leaving the seat to Tony who has easily run it ever since.
SD11 will thus have a special election to fill Tony’s seat on February 5th with a primary date on January 22nd if needed. The GOP holds a slim one seat majority in the senate and while a DFL loss won’t change that, it will make it harder for the DFL to retake the senate in another special election or the 2020 general. This CD8 district runs from Lake Mille Lacs to the edge of Duluth and like surrounding CD8 has become a swing district- Trump won it by a double digit margin in 2016 with DFL congress member narrowly ekeing out a win, and in 2018 Amy Klobuchar won with a double digit margin while the GOP narrowly won the congressional seat in the district. Look for this to be a hard fought swing district race in both this special and the 2020 general election.
Meanwhile in South Dakota the GOP party that seems so concerned about what addresses native americans live at is threatening to refuse to seat two duly elected democratic native women legislators, claiming they aren’t residents. Residency requirements in the Dakotas have always been lose for good reason, given the brutal winters and frequent need for citizens to leave home for work in distant places. But if anyone is a resident, it’s a native! Cory Heidelberger, SD’s best blogger, has the deets here.
See you tomorrow from Storm Lake for my first report of the 2020 Iowa Caucus season.