Author

Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez is the senior political reporter for the Reformer. Ricardo is not new to Minnesota politics, previously reporting on the Dayton administration and statehouse for The Star Tribune from 2014 to 2017, and the Republican National Convention in 2016. Previously, he was a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times covering the California economy. He's a Las Vegas native who has adopted Minnesota as his home state. In his spare time, he likes to run, cook and volunteer with Save-a-Bull, a Minneapolis dog rescue group.

POCI caucus expands power with election of López Franzen as Senate DFL leader

By: - September 14, 2021

Newly elected Senate Minority Leader Melisa López Franzen, DFL-Edina, became the first member of the People of Color and Indigenous caucus to lead a legislative caucus, further expanding the power of a group of lawmakers formed just four years ago.  “It’s about time,” López Franzen, 41, said in her first press conference as leader of […]

Sen. Melisa López Franzen elected Senate DFL minority leader, becoming first Latina caucus leader

By: - September 13, 2021

Sen. Melisa López Franzen of Edina has been elected Senate minority leader, becoming the first Latina to lead the Senate DFL caucus.  Franzen, 41, a third-term senator, is the new face of the caucus and will lead Senate Democratic lawmakers as they navigate redistricting and try to win back a majority in 2022.  She succeeds […]

Senate DFL to elect new leader following Kent resignation

By: - September 13, 2021

Senate Democratic-Farmer-Labor senators will elect a new caucus leader Monday night, a little over a week after Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent of Woodbury said she would resign the position and not seek reelection to her Senate seat.  Three lawmakers are vying for the position, which entails being the face of the caucus, fundraising and […]

New Senate GOP leader pledges to work ‘respectfully’ with DFL governor, House leaders

By: - September 9, 2021

Freshly minted as majority leader, Republican state Sen. Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, pledged to work “respectfully” with DFL Gov. Tim Walz and House leaders. Senate Republicans late on Wednesday elected Miller, 38, as caucus leader, a week before Walz intends to call lawmakers back to St. Paul for a special session to take action on legislation […]

Sen. John Marty of Roseville running for Senate DFL minority leader

By: - September 8, 2021

Veteran DFL state senator John Marty of Roseville is running for caucus leader, becoming the third Democratic senator to vie for the top job. Marty joins colleagues Sens. Melisa López Franzen of Edina and Nick Frentz of North Mankato. The caucus leadership election is planned for Sept. 13. Minority Leader Susan Kent, DFL-Woodbury, said last […]

Former Senate leader seeking GOP endorsement for governor

By: - September 8, 2021

Republican state Sen. Paul Gazelka of East Gull Lake said Wednesday he is running to be his party’s nominee for governor, declaring himself the best GOP candidate to deny DFL Gov. Tim Walz a second term. Gazelka, who announced his run at the State Capitol surrounded by supporters and his wife Maralee, is staking his […]

Two DFL state senators emerge as potential successors for Senate minority leader

By: - September 7, 2021

Two DFL senators are running to succeed Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent, DFL-Woodbury, as caucus leader.  Kent’s surprise resignation last week and decision to not run for re-election has upended the Senate, coming on the heels of a decision by former Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, to step down from his role […]

GOP donor, accused sex trafficker Anton Lazzaro faces civil lawsuit

By: - September 7, 2021

Anton Lazzaro, the GOP donor and strategist accused of sex trafficking young girls, now faces a civil lawsuit from the family of one of the alleged victims.  Jeff Anderson and Stacey Benson, attorneys for the minor — identified as Jane Doe 1 in the suit —say Lazzaro trafficked the young girl when she was 16 […]

Politics and the State Fair bring voters to booths to meet candidates, lawmakers

By: - September 3, 2021

Volunteer J.P. Barone of White Bear Lake cheerfully greeted visitors who stopped by the Minnesota DFL gazebo at the State Fair, offering to snap pictures for them in front of cardboard cutouts of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.  Barone, who has volunteered at the booth in past years, remarked on the light […]

Sen. Susan Kent steps down as Senate minority leader, will not seek reelection

By: - September 2, 2021

Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent, DFL-Woodbury, announced Thursday she would step down as caucus leader and will not seek reelection in her suburban Senate district.  Kent, who was first elected in 2012, was the first woman to lead the Senate DFL caucus when she ousted state Sen. Tom Bakk for the job in February 2020.  […]

Sens. Klobuchar, Smith don’t say how they’ll vote on Minneapolis police ballot question

By: - August 26, 2021

With a bit more than two months until Election Day, it’s unclear how U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith — both residents of Minneapolis — will vote on the public safety ballot question that, if passed, would replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new department of public safety under control of the city […]

GOP state senator convenes private meeting to discuss female attire in Minnesota Senate

By: - August 26, 2021

A bipartisan group of female state senators met last week on Zoom to discuss the attire of women in the Minnesota Senate, a DFL lawmaker confirmed, raising the prospect of a dress code a decade after a previous effort was scuttled.  Led by Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, the group includes Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, […]