Control of the Minnesota Senate is now up for grabs in November

It follows the resignation of Michelle Fischbach – now the full-time lieutenant governor.
Publish date:

An already momentous election year for Minnesota grew even more intriguing on Friday, following the resignation of Sen. Michelle Fischbach.

The long-serving senator automatically became Minnesota's lieutenant governor when former Lt. Gov. Tina Smith was appointed to Al Franken's U.S. Senate seat in January.

Fischbach (R–Paynesville) had resisted giving up her state senate seat despite two lawsuits being filed to force her to step down, as state laws arguably dictated she should.

But with the second of those due to be heard next month, Fischbach reversed her stance and announced her resignation from the Senate, taking up the Lt. Gov. position full-time beside Gov. Mark Dayton.

The implications of this move could be significant, as it now puts the Minnesota Senate in play in a year where no seats were up for election.

Today's Top Stories

– Geese, other wildlife stained with oil following Superior refinery fire.

– Charges: Stalker followed women home from fancy ballroom.

– Want more news? Sign up for our daily newsletters.

By staying on as a senator during the recent legislative session, Fischbach gave the Republicans a 34-33 advantage in the senate.

Now she's gone, the senate is deadlocked and 33-33 and a special election has been triggered for this November.

Fischbach, who was elected to the seat in 1996, said on Friday that she doesn't intend to run in that election.

It means new Republican and Democrat candidates will battle it out for overall control of the senate, with Minnesota's other 66 senators not up for re-election until 2020.

In a year in which 2 U.S. Senate seats are being contested, as well as a series of extremely tight U.S. House races, this is another reason why all eyes will be on Minnesota this November.

That said – Fischbach won re-election with an overwhelming 68.7 percent of the vote in 2016 – so you've got to figure the GOP are the favorites to retain senate control.

Next Up

Brian O'Neill, Vikings-Saints

Matthew Coller: Should the Vikings have any offseason regrets?

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

baby richard

Given 0% chance to live, Baby Richard celebrates 1st birthday, earns world record

He was born in Minneapolis and spent his first 6 months in the NICU at Children's Minnesota.

Facebook screengrab - ANdrew welcome home Dover

Watch: Community's big welcome home to 11-year-old after heart transplant

Andrew Iseminger has been away from his Minnesota home for more than six months.

police lights

Woman, 69, killed in two-car crash on Iron Range

The State Patrols says the victim had been at a stop sign, and pulled onto a highway.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Chaska man identified as motorcyclist killed in Maple Grove crash

Ryan Richard Schmiesing was killed Monday after a vehicle struck his motorcycle.

Dayne Sitladeen

Canadian rapper wanted for murder pleads guilty to possessing 67 guns in MN

Dayne Adrian Sitladeen pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Wednesday.

U.S. district court minnesota - federal court

Charges: Red Lake man with knife sexually assaulted victim

He's also charged with one count of assault with a dangerous weapon.

Jose Berrios

Report: Twins could be 'aggressive sellers' ahead of trade deadline

José Berríos and Nelson Cruz could be in high demand in the coming weeks.

Screen Shot 2021-06-22 at 7.49.39 PM

Why the Timberwolves haven't lost the D'Angelo Russell trade...yet

The Wolves' offseason got more challenging but not impossible.

Pixabay - water surface

2-year-old dies a week after being pulled from Ham Lake pond

The boy had been at Lions Park with family and friends.

Facebook - Dinosaur Drive-Thru image

50 animatronic dinosaurs to take over Mall of America parking lot

Dinosaur Drive-Thru opens June 24 and runs through July 11.


Democrats takes control of the Minnesota House

It mirrored what happened at the national level.

What's going on with the Minnesota House and Senate?

While national lawmakers jockey for control of the U.S. House and Senate, Minnesota also has its own legislature to worry about.

Proposing gun control bills, students warn: 'Come November, we will vote'

Democrats have proposed a dozen gun control bills, and hope at least some will get a hearing.

Michelle Fischbach to challenge Rep. Collin Peterson in CD-7

The former lieutenant governor is looking to unseat the Democrat.

Calls for gun control mark first day of new legislative session

The new House leader says the DFL will be proposing 2 gun safety bills.

Tim Pawlenty won't seek endorsement at GOP convention

He'll focus his efforts on the Republican primary, he confirmed.

Why is Minnesota now forecasting a budget deficit?

It's the first time since 2013 the state is projected to lose money.