Skip to main content

Kurt Daudt elected House Republican leader

The state representative already has a proposed gas tax in his sights.

State Rep. Kirk Daudt may be leaving his role as Speaker of the Minnesota House soon, but he'll remain the top Republican there for the foreseeable future.

That's because his party picked him to become House Minority Leader during a caucus on Friday morning, according to a news release.

This comes after Democrats won control of the chamber last Tuesday, and chose Rep. Melissa Hortman as the next Speaker of the House. 

Daudt, who lives in Crown, is already coming out swinging as he steps into his new role, taking particular aim at a Democrat-proposed gas tax increase.

Democrats say it's needed to fund road improvements in the state, but Republicans say it will only put strain on average Minnesotans. 

In the release, Daud points out that, in the past four years with Republicans in the majority, he and other legislative leaders "delivered numerous accomplishments" – including "historic investments in roads and bridges without a gas tax increase."

About the proposed gas tax 

After being elected Minnesota governor, U.S. Rep. Tim Walz announced that state lawmakers should expect to see a proposed increase in the gas tax as part of his first budget proposal.

Currently, Minnesotans pay a $0.286 tax on every gallon of gas sold in the state. That puts us somewhere in the middle of national state fuel tax rankings, according to the Tax Foundation.

But as Walz has stated on his campaign website, it's not enough to maintain the state's highways, roads and bridges.

However, Daudt says such a tax will only "hurt the pocketbooks of millions of low and middle-income Minnesotans," even though "most Democrats ran only on raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations."

While Walz may have an easier time seeing his proposal pass in the soon-to-be-Democratic House, the state Senate will still be in Republican hands next year, and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R–Nisswa) has made clear he doesn't agree with a gas tax increase.

"If you look at the last two years, we had massive increases in spending towards roads and bridges," Gazelka is quoted as saying in a Pioneer Press article. "We can do that without a gas tax."

The new legislative term begins next year, and Daudt will step into his new role when it kicks off in January.

"House Republicans will work each day to stand up for the priorities of hardworking Minnesotans," he promised in Friday's news release, "and oppose Democrat efforts to take billions of dollars in taxes out of the pockets of Minnesota families despite our likely budget surplus."

Next Up

Hopkins Basketball

Hopkins suffers rare loss to No. 1 ranked Sidwell Friends

The Royals held their own in a battle of the nation's best.

argue-wertman booking photos

Charges: 2 teens responsible for violent carjacking spree across Twin Cities

They face a combined 31 felony counts, all tied to carjackings and related crimes.

rep nolan west mn house

MN rep. says he was 'assaulted' at activist group's public meeting

The Republican said a man grabbed his arms and yanked him from the room.

Screen Shot 2022-01-20 at 12.56.52 PM

What were the 'bizarre things' seen in Minnesota's sky?

The mysterious streaks were not UFOs and they weren't pieces of an asteroid.

icicles, freezing weather, cold weather

Booming noises in the night could be frost quakes

The loud sounds are most likely to happen during the middle of the night.

coronavirus, coronavirus test, covid-19

Free COVID testing site to open in St. Paul for 3 weeks

The federal testing site comes as demand for testing remains high.

Reyel Simmons photo 1 - complaint - crop

MN TikToker accused of faking federal agent life pleads guilty

He told his 10,000 followers he was a Homeland Security agent — authorities say it was a lie.

Wilf

Report: Vikings request second interview with 2 GM candidates

Ryan Poles of the Chiefs and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah of the Browns.

Amaya Battle

Hopkins takes on No. 1 team in the country on ESPNU Friday

The game will feature a pair of top recruits in the Class of 2022.

st. paul federation of educators - teachers

Educators in Minneapolis, St. Paul could strike amid contract negotiations

Teachers and support staff are demanding smaller class sizes, mental health support and better pay.

turtinen two harbors

MN mayor in hot water for hawking $400M underwater hotel plan

The city council called a special meeting to discuss the mayor's public comments.

Related

State Republicans pick Rep. Kurt Daudt as House minority leader

After a caucus meeting that lasted more than five hours, Minnesota House Republicans Saturday selected Rep. Kurt Daudt from Crown, in Isanti County, to be their new minority leader. The pick comes a day after Senate Republicans picked Sen. David Hann of Eden Prairie to be Senate minority leader.

Rep. Kurt Daudt joins firm linked to lobbying, will still serve as lawmaker

He is the Minority Leader in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

These are the MN races to watch on Tuesday night

Many of the elections will impact national politics.