Two DFL state representatives who both took office in January 1973 now hold the record as longest-serving members of the state House in the history of Minnesota.
Rep. Phyllis Kahn of Minneapolis and Rep. Lyndon Carlson of Crystal hit the milestone on Monday, when they respectively reached their 15,533rd day as House members. Kahn, 78, and Carlson, 75, were both elected to the House in the November 1972 election.
The current House Speaker, Republican Kurt Daudt, was not even born until about nine months after Kahn and Carlson first took their oaths of office. More than a handful of other current House members have been alive for less time than Kahn and Carlson have been in office.
The longevity record previously was held by the late Rep. Willard Munger, a Duluth DFLer who served a total of 42 years and seven months over two stretches in the House before he died in office in 1999.
The next most senior member of the House currently is Rep. Mary Murphy, DFL-Hermantown, who was elected in 1976. The most senior House Republican is Rep. Greg Davids of Preston, who first joined the House by winning a special election in 1991.
Kahn is a high-profile and occasionally controversial legislator whose district includes the main University of Minnesota campus. She fought back a spirited DFL primary challenge last year from Mohamud Noor, a Somali community activist.
Carlson, a retired teacher, has long been the lead House DFLer on the influential Ways and Means Committee.
Both represent strongly DFL districts, and a House DFL spokesman said Monday that both have indicated they plan to run for a 23rd term next year.