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

All 134 Minnesota representatives and all 67 Minnesota senators were on the ballot Tuesday. Here's how things have shaken out.

(Note: Recounts are triggered when a legislative race is within 0.5 percentage points, and the losing candidate requests one within 48 hours – if any of these results change, we'll update this post.)

The Minnesota House

How it looked going into Tuesday:

Republicans had firm control in the chamber, with a 73-61 advantage.

What happened Nov. 8:

That GOP still has its lead, and maybe even a bigger one.

Results from the Secretary of State, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, show Republicans won 76 races – so that's plus-3 overall.

Democratic candidates appear to have won 57 races. (Note: This doesn't add up to the 134 total seats – the race in 32B wasn't held because a candidate was found to be ineligible. He apparently didn't live in the district. So a special election for that seat will be on Feb. 14, 2017).

Paul Thissen, the top Democrat in the House (who won re-election Tuesday), acknowledged as results were coming in Republicans would maintain control.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us to heal our divisions and address the frustration felt by so many of our fellow citizens," he said in a statement, though also noted he was "disappointed" with the results in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Senate

How it looked going into Tuesday:

The DFL-controlled the state senate, 38-28. (There was also one empty seat, after the death of Sen. James Metzen over the summer.) Democrats were pretty confident they could hold on to this chamber.

What happened Nov. 8:

It looks like the Republicans overtook the DFL and have control of the state Senate, too.

Here are the results, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, from the Secretary of State.

It shows Republicans winning 34 races, with Democrats winning 33.

And there were some very tight – but important – wins for the GOP, including over incumbent DFL Rep. Tom Saxhaug in District 5 (he lost to Republican Justin Eichorn by just over 1 percentage point); and in District 44, where DFL Sen. Terri Bonoff left to run for the U.S. House – that seat was taken by Republican Paul Anderson, by about 200 votes.

A caveat: The results in District 14, which is part of the St. Cloud area. Republican Jerry Relph defeated DFLer Dan Wolgamott 47.40 percent to 47.02 percent. That's within the recount zone, so could be challenged. If something changes, we'll update the story.

What this means

With a majority in both chambers, it's a lot easier for a party (in this case, Republicans) to agree on and pass bills.

However, Democrat Gov. Mark Dayton is still hanging over them with a potential veto on any bill he doesn't like.

To override a veto, the state House and Senate each need two-thirds of their members to vote in favor – but Republicans don't have that large of an advantage in either. (That said, some Democrats could choose to vote with the GOP and override a Dayton veto.)

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