Will it be more of same?

By Chuck Kajer

As of this writing, Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer was expected to concede his loss in the November 2 election to Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidate Mark Dayton. That means for the first time since Rudy Perpich left office in 1991, Minnesota will have a Democratic governor. The state's canvassing board is expected to confirm Dayton's win as a result of the recount of votes following the close election.

Meanwhile, a new, Republican-controlled legislature, including newly-elected Reps. Glenn Gruenhagen and Kelby Woodard and Sen. Al DeKruif, are preparing to take office in less than a month and give the state the first Republican-controlled legislature in its history (legislators did not officially have party designations until the 1970s).

Dayton and Republican candidates campaigned on very different platforms. Dayton had hoped to increase taxes in an attempt to balance the budget, while Republicans tend to prefer budget cuts to reach the same goal.

Sound familiar?

One of the reasons the D-F-L'ers were swept out of office in the legislature, and perhaps why a D-F-L'er was elected governor, was because of the public's loss of trust in the previous office holders, when a D-F-L legislature could not negotiate with a Republican governor who would not budge on his No New Taxes pledge. The result was, too often, gridlock.

Hopefully, Dayton and the Republican legislature can learn from the past eight years and find a way to work with those on the other side of the aisle. Their ability to do so will go a long way toward their ability to get reelected.

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