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Senate president plans to keep that job and become Minnesota lieutenant governor

Senate president plans to keep that job and become Minnesota lieutenant governor

Minnesota has elected governors and lieutenant governors of the same party on the same ticket. She didn't hold office until Dayton made her his running mate two years ago.

"I'll do my best to stay healthy so that she gets to be lieutenant governor for the next 400 and some days", he added.

But Dayton and Senate DFLers believe Fischbach will have to resign her Senate seat.

"I'm not a lawyer, I'm told by my in-house legal counsel that the Constitution and the state statutes are clear, that the president of the Senate becomes the lieutenant governor and she can not hold two offices simultaneously", Dayton said.

It's important because of the potential to shift the balance of power in the closely divided Senate. Republicans now hold a one-seat majority, with 34 seats. Al Franken's (D-MN) term in a special election in 2018, a spokesperson confirmed to TPM Wednesday.

Complicating it further: the planned resignation on Friday of DFL Sen. Dan Schoen, DFL-St. Paul Park. They want another special election and the chance to pick up a seat.

The Senate's DFL leaders were quick Wednesday to outline their case for why Fischbach must leave the Senate, and to declare that two special elections were all but certain. In 1898, the lieutenant governor presided over the Senate. "The balance of power in the Minnesota Senate will be up for grabs".

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In the meantime, both parties are offering up their own legal interpretations. Fischbach says a Supreme Court ruling from 1898 sets precedent.

A 1968 amendment prohibited senators or representatives from holding "any other office" but the Senate lawyer contends the "core reasoning" of the earlier court decision still applies. "The motivating factor for me is I was elected by the constituents of Senate District 13 and I have a commitment to represent them in the Senate".

Fischbach said she would look at Swanson's opinion when it is available, but she did not sound like she would change her mind.

"We both are going to bring pictures of our grandchildren to share", Fischbach said Wednesday, a couple hours after Dayton announced Lt. Gov. Tina Smith will take over U.S. Sen.

Most lieutenant governors have done little in public, although Smith has traveled widely for Dayton.

"I seriously doubt it", she said.


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