Daudt and Benson win; Daudt wins again with leadership post

In the race for District 31A of the Minnesota House of Representatives, incumbent Republican Kurt Daudt of Crown won with 60 percent of the vote over Democrat challenger Ryan Fiereck.

Rep. Kurt Daudt

“I’m very honored that the residents re-elected me.” Daudt said Nov. 7.  “I look forward to serving the people in the Legislature, and I’m honored by their trust.”

He won again late last week.

House Republicans have picked Daudt  to lead their caucus for the next two years as House minority leader.

“I have an interest in being part of the team wanting to move forward and look to the future. That’s what we’ve done today,” he said. To see a video of Daudt, click here.

His vote was not on the first ballot, yet Daudt, an assistant majority leader the past two sessions, said the caucus is behind him. “We’re very united and looking to the future.”

Entering his second term in the House after six years as a township officer and six more as a county commissioner, Daudt said he is committed to reach across the aisle and work with the DFL majority on a bipartisan basis.

The decision followed to go wit Daudt followed a beating Repubicans took at the polls. They lost the House and Senate majorities they had for the past two years.

The House went from 72-62 Republican to 73-61 DFL; the Senate from 37-30 Republican to 39-28 DFL. Sen. David Hann (R-Eden Prairie) was named the minority leader in the Senate Friday.

Local Republicans with all or parts of their district within the boundaries of the Elk River Area School District were unbeaten again.

Fiereck saw the outcome as definitive around midnight on election night.  “We worked hard over the summer,” he said, “but folks have made it clear I’m not their choice this time.”  He hopes to continue working for the people in the district and wants to work with Daudt to make area schools even better.

Sen. Michelle Benson

Meanwhile, Republican incumbent Michelle Benson is gearing up for another term. She garnered 58 percent the vote over her opponent, Democrat Mike Starr, in the Senate District 31 race. The district includes the Zimmerman area.

Looking forward to her next term, Benson reiterated her approach to the office was as a public servant.

“I will continue to educate, advocate, listen, and learn,” she said.