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.

Senate holds hearing on political candidate residency questions after Rep. John Thompson controversy

By: - October 7, 2021

A Senate committee on Thursday heard testimony about how candidates and lawmakers verify their addresses when they file for office, exploring a new law to prevent lawmakers from living outside of districts they represent.  State Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, convened a hearing to review current law and processes for candidates who file for office.  […]

Walz, Senate GOP outline contrasting approach to rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations

By: - October 6, 2021

Senate Republicans and DFL Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday outlined drastically contrasting approaches to managing the ongoing pandemic, setting up a protracted legislative impasse as the governor calls on lawmakers to act on a raft of COVID-19 mitigation measures.  Walz is calling for mandatory vaccination of long-term care workers, teachers and other school staff, among […]

Rep. Ryan Winkler announces run for Hennepin County Attorney

By: - October 5, 2021

DFL House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler will run for Hennepin County Attorney, announcing Tuesday he would not seek reelection to the House. Winkler, who represents the Golden Valley area in the Minnesota House, joins former Hennepin County Chief Public Defender Mary Moriarty in vying to succeed County Attorney Mike Freeman. Winkler said he would finish […]

GOP proposal for pandemic pay limits bonuses to smaller pool of essential workers, including nurses

By: - September 30, 2021

GOP legislative leaders on Thursday unveiled their proposal to distribute $250 million in pandemic bonus pay to nurses, first responders, correctional officers, long-term care workers and hospice providers.  A bipartisan panel of lawmakers have met in recent weeks to hash out which essential workers would be eligible for checks. Republicans favor limiting the pool of […]

New Senate GOP leader shaped by family’s work ethic, hardscrabble immigrant story

By: - September 30, 2021

WINONA — In 2019, Jeremy Miller was on a run in downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row, stunned at the poverty, grime and decrepit conditions of the unsheltered residents, many of whom are veterans and struggling with substance addiction.  He was there on business, attending a scrap recycling convention. Miller, who is a regular runner, met […]

He refused the shot, and COVID-19 nearly killed him. Local GOP party chair now urges vaccine

By: - September 21, 2021

By the time Mark Korin leaves the hospital, he will have lost 40 pounds and spent nearly two months battling COVID-19. And he still has a long recovery ahead.  The former Oak Grove mayor, chair of the Senate District 31 Republican Party and Trump supporter had refused the COVID-19 vaccine, believing he did not need […]

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 […]