Brooklyn Park’s Hortman Named MN House Speaker
Tuesday night was a big night for Democrats in Minnesota. The DFL needed 11 seats to gain the majority in the state House, and they wound up flipping 18 seats.
The new House speaker, Melissa Hortman, came by CCX News Friday morning to talk about why the DFL did so well.
“Hard work. The harder you work, the luckier you get,” Rep. Melissa Hortman said. “We set out to flip the house, and in order to flip the house we knew we would have to work very hard from the word, ‘go.’ So as soon as we got the results from the 2016 election, we formed our leadership team. We started recruiting really excellent candidates right away. We had 10 leaders working on recruitment.”
Rep. Hortman says the DFL recruited great candidates, who then did the hard work of talking to voters and listening to their concerns.
But now that the Democrats control the House and the governor’s office, Hortman says there’s unfinished business, such as working on tax conformity, addressing the opioid epidemic, and caring for seniors who have dealt with abuse and neglect.
A Divided Legislature
However, Minnesota is now the only state in the nation with a divided legislature, yet Hortman sounds optimistic about the ability to work with Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka.
“What I anticipate is that Senator Gazelka is very practical and pragmatic,” Rep. Hortman said. “He is not a guy who seeks out conflict for the sake of conflict. So I really think that he and I will be able to separate those issues where we don’t have to have a titanic partisan struggle.”
Meanwhile, in the next few months the DFL leadership plans to create a new committee structure, appoint leaders to those committees, and then draft their agenda for the upcoming session once the state budget forecast comes out at the end of November.
The legislative session begins on Jan. 8, 2019.