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Future of Minnesota's Lieutenant Governor

"This is a constitutional issue."

Posted: Jan. 2, 2018 11:13 PM
Updated: Jan. 3, 2018 6:32 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - As Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith gets set to take over a seat in the U.S. Senate, current State Senate President Michelle Fischbach is poised to become the state's lieutenant governor.

Dr. Eric Shoars, political analyst, calls this a constitutional issue and sees a lawsuit in the near future.

"I think until that gets resolved, we really can't even really speculate who might be next in line because the constitution says this is who needs to be there and in this instance, it's Michelle Fischbach," Shoars said.

According to the constitutional guidelines, a person can't be both lieutenant governor and leader of the senate.

Shoars said it's unlikely Fischbach will give up her senate seat as Republicans hang on to just a two-seat majority. However based on the state constitution, she'll have to take on the role of lieutenant governor.

Her seat would then be up for a special election or Governor Dayton could appoint someone.

Shoars said Republicans are just focused on keeping their power in the Senate.

"So if the Republicans were to lose the Senate, they potentially could become a minority party that really can't do anything but obstruct," Shoars said. "Which coming up with the next election, you want to be seen as having a message and a positive agenda, not simply standing in the way of a party that you don't agree with."

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