The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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November 7, 2012

Democrats recapture both houses of Minnesota Legislature

ST. PAUL — Democrats took over the Minnesota Legislature on Wednesday, with top Republicans conceding the loss of both the Senate and House.

A spokesman for Democratic Senate caucus leader Tom Bakk (bahk) says GOP Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem called early Wednesday to concede the loss of the majority.

That came not long after Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers made a similar call to the House Democrats' leader, Paul Thissen (TEE'-sen).

The Democratic sweep comes just two years after a historic GOP power grab, and it fulfills Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton's wish for more receptive lawmakers after he collided with Republicans over taxes and spending. The victory gives the DFL the Senate gavel for four years, since senators won't face voters again until 2016.

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