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.

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, […]

MN GOP will meet Oct. 2 to elect new party chair, emergency meeting to rescind severance package ruled unofficial

By: - August 25, 2021

State Republicans will meet on Oct. 2 to elect a new Minnesota Republican Party chair, according to a letter Deputy Chair Carleton Crawford sent to party activists.  The GOP’s state central delegates had previously called an emergency meeting for Aug. 30 to attempt to rescind a $38,000 severance package authorized by the executive committee for […]

MN GOP donor, strategist Anton Lazzaro paid teen girls with cash, gifts for sex, prosecutors say

By: - August 24, 2021

Anton Lazzaro, a major Minnesota GOP donor and strategist, paid teenage girls with cash, gifts and lavish meals in exchange for sex, federal prosecutors said Tuesday, arguing against his release on home detention as he awaits trial.  Lazzaro, appearing in orange jail jumpsuit, pleaded not guilty five counts of sex trafficking, three counts of obstruction, […]

A handful of Republicans mull run for MN GOP party chair but no formal bids yet

By: - August 23, 2021

Days after MNGOP Chair Jennifer Carnahan resigned her post, it’s unclear who wants to take on the job of rebuilding the Minnesota Republican Party. On Monday, state Sen. Mark Koran, R-North Branch, said in a statement he would not run for party chair.  “We will clean our house and address the issues thrust upon us […]

Minnesota lawmaker deploying to Middle East

By: - August 20, 2021

State Sen. Zach Duckworth, R-Lakeville, will be deploying to the Middle East with the Minnesota Army National Guard.  Duckworth serves as a major. He has previously served in Kuwait and Iraq in 2011 and 2012 as a platoon leader.  “It’s an honor to serve our state in times of need and I’m proud to wear […]

4 former MN GOP executive directors call on party chair to resign

By: - August 18, 2021

Four former Republican Party of Minnesota executive directors are calling on party Chair Jennifer Carnahan to resign.  The four executive directors are Christine Snell, Kevin Poindexter, Becky Alery and Andy Aplikowski. “As the four most recent MN GOP executive directors under Carnahan, we have a unique perspective into the toxic environment, inappropriate behavior and manipulation […]

Former MNGOP political director says party chair outed, subjected her to months of verbal abuse

By: - August 17, 2021

A former Minnesota Republican Party staffer is accusing embattled state party Chair Jennifer Carnahan of outing her as queer to party activists, donors and other officials in an effort to undermine her.  Francesca Zeller, who worked for the state Republican Party for eight months, said in a Reformer interview that she was outed by Carnahan […]