Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka warns of potential gridlock at the legislature in 2018, unless Governor Mark Dayton allows Republicans to facilitate a Democrat becoming lieutenant governor instead of Republican Senator Michelle Fischbach. The reason they’re worried is that if Republicans lose a special election for Fischbach’s seat, they also lose the Senate majority. Gazelka says, “We don’t want to take that risk at 34-33. And the other part of it is, if we don’t do it the way we’re proposing, we could be at 33-33 for a while — and that to us is a mess.”
Gazelka is referring to a possible court battle over whether a person can hold more than one political office at the same time. Republicans say yes, while Democrats say no.
What sparked the controversy is Governor Mark Dayton appointing Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith to replace Al Franken in the U-S Senate.