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DFL senators pick northern Minnesota's Bakk as leader

News Woodbury,Minnesota 55125
Woodbury Bulletin
DFL senators pick northern Minnesota's Bakk as leader
Woodbury Minnesota 8420 City Centre Drive 55125

ST. PAUL -- Sen. Tom Bakk will be the Minnesota Senate's leader.

A Tweet from inside a closed meeting early this afternoon gave the expected news. Bakk, DFL-Cook, was to meet with reporters later today.

Democratic senators and senators-elect met at the St. Paul Hotel this afternoon to pick leaders and celebrate taking control of the Senate in Tuesday's election. They were out of power two years, after Republicans took the majority in 2010 for the first time in 38 years.

Tonight, Democratic representatives are expected to pick Rep. Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, as speaker. The official vote to name a speaker will come Jan. 8, when the Legislature returns to session at noon.

Bakk and Thissen will be the main legislative contacts for Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton. Next year will be the first time in 22 years that Democrats held all three key positions.

Thissen and Bakk have been minority leaders the last two years.

Northeast Minnesota voters elected Bakk, a retired labor official, to the House in 1994 and the Senate in 2002. He is a former Taxes Committee chairman.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.