Written by Anna Boroff, MCGA Senior Public Policy Director
As we all form our own understanding and opinions about the 2016 election cycle and what it means to agriculture policy going forward, here’s a very brief update on how things shook out in Minnesota.
Big changes in the Minnesota Legislature:
The Minnesota Senate will change hands as the GOP made a net gain of 6 seats to take the majority. However, the sitting leader of the GOP was defeated last night (Hann). There will be new chairs of all the committees, AND a new majority leader.
- The GOP picked up two open seats (Stumpf and Bonoff), and six DFL incumbents lost (Skoe, Saxhaug, Koenen, Dahle, Schmit, and Jensen.
- The DFL took two seats, one open seat (Thompson) and one incumbent lost (Hann).
This means that the Senate chamber will be 34 (R)/33 (D).
The Minnesota House will remain in GOP control, but with stronger ranks. The GOP flipped 6 seats. Two open seats (Atkins and Shoen) changed hands, and four incumbents lost (Persell, Anzelc, Yarusso, and Erhardt). The DFL flipped two seats, one in Apple Valley (the former Tara Mack seat), and the Bloomington seat where GOP incumbent Chad Anderson lost. The House chamber will now be 76(R)/57(D). *One open seat remains due to a special election being called in the Bob Barrett seat.
If you want to know how these new legislators feel about agriculture, a good place to check is here.
And in Washington D.C….
We’ll have a new face in our Congressional representation. In Minnesota’s open 2nd district, Jason Lewis becomes Minnesota’s newest Congressman. In the highly contested 8th district, Rep. Rick Nolan defeated Stewart Mills 54 to 45%. In CD3, Rep. Erik Paulsen wins re-election against Terri Bonoff. In an unexpectedly close race, Rep. Tim Walz narrowly defeats Jim Hagedorn by only a couple of thousand votes at last check. To find more election results, you can go here.
As we meet with corn farmers over the next couple of months to decide what Minnesota Corn priorities are moving forward, we look forward to discussing more about what this election means to the future of agriculture. You can find information on our grassroots policy process on our website here.
Our strength is thanks to the constant and strong engagement from farmers across the state. We look forward to continuing our tradition as a strong voice for corn farmers in St. Paul and in D.C. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions or ideas.