Daudt, a former House speaker, to leave Minn. Legislature in February

Published 5:34 pm Friday, January 12, 2024

By Dana Ferguson, NPR

Former Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt is resigning his seat in the state Legislature before the next session begins.

In a news release Wednesday, Daudt said he will step down effective Feb. 11. That is the day before the Minnesota Legislature is set to reconvene for the 2024 legislative session. Voters in House District 27B will select a new representative in a special election.

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“It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve the people of Minnesota,” Daudt said. “I am profoundly thankful to my friends and neighbors who put their trust and faith in me to work on their behalf for the last 13 years.”

The Republican from Zimmerman was first elected in 2010 and quickly climbed the ranks of GOP leadership. Daudt served as speaker from 2015 until handing over the gavel to current DFL House Speaker Melissa Hortman in 2019. Daudt was the youngest person in modern history to fill the role.

He was replaced as House minority leader in 2022 by current GOP Leader Lisa Demuth.

Daudt’s resignation won’t change the party balance given that Democrats hold 70 of the 134 seats. Republicans hope the 2024 election will give them a good shot to reclaim chamber control.