Author

Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez was a 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.

Andy Luger confirmed to serve a second time as U.S. Attorney for Minnesota

By: - March 24, 2022

Andy Luger received bipartisan confirmation from the U.S. Senate on Thursday and will return as U.S. Attorney for Minnesota.  Luger, 62, previously served in the role from 2014 to 2017 when President Donald Trump’s administration asked him and dozens of other federal prosecutors to resign.  The confirmation vote was 60-to-36. He was among three finalists […]

Rep. John Thompson faces challengers Hoang Murphy, Liz Lee in endorsement race

By: and - March 24, 2022

The governor and the speaker of the Minnesota House called for him to resign. His party caucus ousted him. But embattled Rep. John Thompson is running for reelection. To win a second term, he’ll need to defeat two challengers in the strongly Democratic East Side St. Paul district. Hoang Murphy, founder of the St. Paul-based […]

Rep. John Thompson on Hugo protest: ‘That’s something I really regret’

By: - March 24, 2022

Rep. John Thompson, the St. Paul lawmaker who was banished by his Democratic-Farmer-Labor colleagues and now caucuses as an Independent, said he regrets the Hugo protest that first made him a political albatross for fellow Democratic elected officials, including Gov. Tim Walz.  Months after the police murder of George Floyd, activists traveled to the Hugo […]

Senate DFL outlines $500 million public safety plan

By: - March 22, 2022

Minnesota Democratic senators on Tuesday outlined a $500 million public safety plan they say will help curb violent crime, provide resources to police officers and help address the root causes of the increase in gun violence and carjackings.  The proposal contrasts with Republican bills that would enact tougher criminal penalties and promote the law enforcement […]

Sen. Tom Bakk announces retirement from Senate, after nearly 30 years as influential lawmaker

By: - March 17, 2022

Sen. Tom Bakk, the Democratic senator turned Independent from Cook, is retiring from state politics, nearly 30 years after he was first elected to the Legislature.  One of the staunchest supporters of the Iron Range, its mining and its idiosyncratic culture, Bakk, 67, developed a reputation for being a master of the inside game, always […]

GOP bill would grant medical board discretion to investigate doctors over social media comments

By: - March 16, 2022

A Republican Senate bill would give the state medical practice board discretion to turn down investigations of complaints made against doctors for comments made on social media, as long as they are not directly related to patient care.  The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Rich Draheim, R-Madison Lake, comes as former Sen. Scott Jensen, R-Chaska — […]

Former MNGOP chair Jennifer Carnahan, widow of U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn, running for late husband’s seat

By: - March 14, 2022

Jennifer Carnahan, the former Minnesota GOP chairwoman and widow of U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn, is running for her late husband’s seat in Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District, hoping to move past her controversial and polarizing record as party leader.   Carnahan joins a crowded field of candidates running in a special election called after Hagedorn died of […]

House committee advances bill to close loophole for private lobbyist clubs during legislative session

By: - March 11, 2022

A Minnesota House committee on Friday voted 10-2 to advance a bill restricting legislative party caucuses from forming a private club of dues-paying lobbyists and other members during lawmaking sessions.  The legislation is in response to a 2021 advisory opinion requested by the Senate Victory Fund — the Senate GOP’s political arm — on whether […]

GOP lawmakers, businesses want vote on unemployment insurance fund replenishment

By: - March 10, 2022

House and Senate Republicans on Thursday warned that businesses will start paying higher payroll taxes next week if lawmakers do not approve a bill to replenish the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund.  The GOP-led Senate, which has already approved a bill to replenish the UI trust fund and pay back the federal government, says the […]

House bill would legalize sports betting run by tribal nations

By: - March 7, 2022

Lawmakers on Monday unveiled a bipartisan proposal that would legalize sports betting in Minnesota, allowing tribal nations in the state to offer brick-and-mortar betting and online wagers.  Unlike a Senate plan rolled out recently, the House bill would limit sports betting to tribal nations in Minnesota, leaving out the state’s horse racing tracks from participating […]

Former WCCO Radio host, KARE 11 personality Cory Hepola launches third party bid for governor

By: - March 2, 2022

Former WCCO Radio personality Cory Hepola on Wednesday launched his third-party bid for governor, emphasizing his Minnesota roots as he calls for less partisanship in state politics.  Hepola is seeking the endorsement of the new Forward Party of Minnesota, a newly-formed third party endorsed by former NYC mayoral candidate and one-time candidate for president, Andrew […]

Senate working group will meet privately to address sexual harassment report

By: - March 1, 2022

The Minnesota Senate has formed a private “working group” to address the conclusions of an independent report that found a “lack of clarity and understanding” of sex harassment policies by some state senators and staff.  The group is chaired by Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake. Its GOP members are Sens. Carrie Ruud of Breezy Point […]