Skip to main content

Rep. Mortensen lays into Republican colleagues after he was kicked out of GOP caucus

The first-term lawmaker was kicked out o the New House Republican Caucus this week.

The Minnesota New House Republican Caucus has parted ways with Rep. Erik Mortensen, a first-term lawmaker who has proven a controversial figure since narrowly winning the House 55A seat last November. 

Mortensen, R-Shakopee, was removed by the New House Republican Caucus after a no-confidence vote earlier this week. The New Republican Caucus formed in December 2018 by four Republican lawmakers – Reps. Steve Drazkowski, Jeremy Munson, Cal Bahr and Tim Miller – who weren't happy with the GOP Caucus leadership. Mortensen was the fifth member to join the caucus. 

And Mortensen apparently isn't welcome in the House GOP Caucus, either. 

Mortensen is laying into Republicans for giving him the boot. 

He posted on Facebook Tuesday, saying he was kicked out because of his mission to "expose the shenanigans in St. Paul" and show voters how lawmakers conduct themselves, such as calling for roll-call votes, so voters can hold their lawmakers accountable.

He said: 

"So naturally what has happened is the pressure on these weak Republicans has become so immense that they're seeking to remove the pressure and they seem to think that I'm going to be easier to intimidate and break.

"And this is fundamentally what the New House Republican Caucus asked of me — to cave in and stop exposing the actions of phony conservatives so that they can go back to their safety blanket that their party bosses offer them and to keep the public in the dark about what actually happens in St. Paul."

Mortensen Tuesday night joined Action 4 Liberty, a PAC that worked to get Mortensen elected, live on Facebook, during which he and host Jake Duesenberg bashed House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, calling Daudt "toxic" and Gazelka a "weakling" in references to their leadership styles.

Mortensen said leadership uses procedural moves to "try to neuter people that don't fall in line with the leader that they worship." And if people don't "cave into leadership" there are consequences, so it makes them comply. 

They also criticized the New House Republican Caucus, with Mortensen saying he recently questioned the caucus' vision and said he and the caucus disagreed on what they should be doing. 

And apparently, Rep. Drazkowski told Mortensen he couldn't keep criticizing individual members because they were trying to work with them, as well as attract more Republicans to join their caucus but Mortensen kept attacking those they wanted to recruit. 

Action 4 Liberty posted about his removal from the caucus earlier Tuesday, saying it appears the New House Republican Caucus cares "more about relationships with the political class than they do in standing behind the best member of their caucus."

The group added, "The New House Republican Caucus has shown their true colors today and will remain irrelevant in the grand political movement to restore liberty. Mort is the future and the champion that grassroots conservatives in Minnesota want leading the fight in St Paul. We stand with Mort."

Mortensen also joined "Redbeard" – aka Chad Rafdal – on Facebook live, where he expressed a similar sentiment as his Facebook post and in the Action 4 Liberty interview. 

Mortensen has long been vocal about his displeasure with Republicans and Democrats, frequently name-dropping people, and he's come under scrutiny in his first months in office. 

What this all means

Former Rep. Brad Tabke, the Democrat who lost to Mortensen in November, explained in a Twitter thread on Monday why this could be bad for Shakopee's representation in the House. 

Mortensen narrowly beat Tabke thanks to Legal Marijuana Now party candidate with ties to Republicans who netted 1,706 votes in a race that was decided by just 554, the Minnesota Reformer reported. And Tabke is planning another run for office.

However, Mortensen refuted Tabke's claim, saying in his Facebook post:

"Of course the DFL crazies are saying that I no longer have staff or researchers or ability to write bills. It's all nonsense. My ability to serve my district is fully intact. In fact I'm more empowered than ever to focus on district needs because no caucus leaders are telling me what to do or how to do it."

Mortensen says he'll continue to refuse to back down to intimidation tactics.

Next Up


Evidence that omicron strains BA.4 and BA.5 are in Minnesota

The European CDC has warned of a possible significant summer surge fueled by the omicron subvariants.

driving unsplash - crop

Hastings man charged for driving drunk with 2-year-old in vehicle

Matthew Quade's BAC was almost five times over the legal limit when police pulled him over last week.

police lights

Arrest made after person shot at Hopkins apartment building

Police say this was an isolated incident and that the victim and suspect knew each other.


BA.2.12.1 omicron subvariant quickly becoming dominant in MN

Experts say the subvariant is more transmissible but there is not evidence to suggest it causes more severe disease.

Erin Maye Quade

DFLer who was in labor during endorsement convention to run in primary

Maye Quade gave a speech while in active labor before she ultimately withdrew from the endorsing convention last month to give birth.


Valleyfair opens this weekend, reveals full summer schedule of events

New fare includes walking tacos, hand-scooped ice cream and deep-fried pickles.

Gregory Ulrich

Jury selection begins in trial of Buffalo clinic shooter, Gregory Ulrich

The Buffalo health clinic shooter is accused of fatally shooting one person and injuring four others last year.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, May 16

The latest from the state health department.


Tow truck workers struck by hit-and-run driver on I-35

The driver was in a black 2006 Lincoln MKZ.


rep. erik mortensen

DFL files complaint against Shakopee state rep, political nonprofit

In a post on Facebook, Rep. Mortensen accuses fellow Republican Kurt Daudt of gathering the information for the complaint and giving it to the DFL to file.

reproductive rights caucus

Minnesota DFL lawmakers form Reproductive Freedom Caucus

The caucus aims to promote and protect the reproductive rights of Minnesotans.

jennifer carnahan

More elected Republicans urging embattled GOP chair Carnahan to resign

It's over her close connection to Anton Lazzaro, who's accused of child sex trafficking.

paul gazelka

'Cop out': Senate GOP leader under fire for cancelling police reform hearings

Senate Maj. Leader Paul Gazelka retracted support for such hearings.

Senator Jeremy Miller

Sen. Jeremy Miller elected Republican caucus leader, replacing Gazelka

He'll officially be named Senate Majority Leader once the Senate is in session again.

State Capitol.

After GOP filibusters, lawmakers have 9 days to pass budget bills

If the Minnesota Legislature doesn't pass its budget bills by June 30, the government will shutdown on July 1.

Screen Shot 2021-09-13 at 12.45.41 PM

Former state rep. out of race for GOP chair due to COVID infection

Jim Newberger had been aiming to replace the recently-resigned Jennifer Carnahan.

GOP State Fair booth

MN GOP: Republican volunteer groped at State Fair booth

Police are looking into the alleged groping at the Republican Party's booth.