The Potluck

Senate DFL to elect new leader following Kent resignation

By: - September 13, 2021 9:46 am

From left, Sen. Melisa López Franzen, DFL-Edina, Sen. Nick Frentz, DFL-North Mankato, Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville.

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 recruiting candidates. They are Sens. Melisa López Franzen of Edina, Nick Frentz of North Mankato and John Marty of Roseville. 

Kent’s surprise resignation came on the same day an outside investigation started into her handling of a sexual harassment complaint involving Kent’s former campaign manager and a former Senate DFL staffer. 

Kent said she was leaving the Senate to dedicate more time to her family, saying the pandemic has taken a toll.  

The caucus is slated to meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday after dinner. 

Last week, Senate Republicans elected Sen. Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, as majority leader after Sen. Paul Gazelka stepped down shortly before announcing he would run for governor.

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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.