Eight GOP state representatives voted against a resolution Monday that condemned recent violence at the U.S. and state capitols, and declared support for the certified 2020 election results.
The resolution was introduced following a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, in which a mob stormed the halls of Congress while lawmakers were certifying electoral college results.
The resolution read: "A House resolution condemning violence and violent rhetoric directed at our United States Capitol and state capitols, and affirming support for democracy, rule of law, and the certified results of Minnesota's election and the elections of the other states."
“We are a nation founded on the rule of law — whether the source of the law is legislative, by court ruling, or by executive power. Legal challenges to our election were defeated, and we had a free, fair, and valid election. As elected leaders, we have a responsibility to be honest with our constituents and defend our democracy," said House Speaker Melissa Hortman in a statement.
The resolution passed the House 111-8 with bipartisan support. Representatives Jeff Backer (R-Browns Valley), Cal Bahr (R-East Bethel), Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa), Steve Green (R-Fosston), Matt Grossell (R-Bemidji), John Heinrich (R-Anoka), Shane Mekeland (R-Clear Lake), and Erik Mortensen (R-Shakopee), voted against the resolution.
“Attempts to undermine free and fair elections have no place in our nation,” said author Rep. Jamie Long, DFL-Minneapolis, in a statement.
“Condemning the violent insurrection we witnessed in Washington D.C. and the disinformation that sparked it is the first step towards preventing further attacks on our democracy. We must stand together to uphold the will of voters and defend our democracy.”
A “Storm the Capitol” rally was also held at the Minnesota state Capitol in St. Paul the same day as the insurrection. Six Republican state lawmakers attended the rally.
The rally at the state Capitol did not turn violent, and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension did not find any “criminal wrongdoing” at the event.
Still, DFL lawmakers have criticized rhetoric at the rally, including comments by one Woodbury GOP activist, who warned judges who upheld election results, stating: "And these other judges that we’re coming for, we’re going to come for you in a way where we are going to back you into a corner."
Fourteen GOP lawmakers also declined to vote on the resolution. Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-Lake Crystal) did not vote on the resolution. He criticized language in the bill that condemned actions at state capitols.
Munson was in attendance at the Storm the Capitol rally.
“We’ve all sent press releases to the media condemning violence that occurred in our nation’s capitol in Washington D.C,” Munson said during debate.
“This resolution does not add to our condemnation. However, [the resolution] does not just condemn the violence in D.C.,... it condemns violence directed at our state capitols, which includes St. Paul, where many of our constituents came to peacefully and lawfully petition their government to address grievances.”
An investigation by the Minnesota BCA found that there was no "criminal wrongdoing" with regards to the comments made during the St. Paul rally on Jan. 6, which was sufficiently concerning to authorities that it prompted the evacuation of Gov. Tim Walz's 14-year-old son from the Governor's Mansion.