Two days after increasing their already sizable majority in the Minnesota House, DFLers on Thursday unanimously reelected Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Majority Leader Tony Sertich to the party's top legislative positions.
Amid smiles, balloons and frequent applause, House DFL members met for the first time since Tuesday's election increased their number by two seats, giving them 87 of the 134 seats in the House. Only once since the 1970s has one political party held such a large majority in the House.
Kelliher emerged with Sertich after a two-hour closed meeting and pledged to work with Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty and House Republicans and said she would push to make the late-night deliberations at the end of the legislative session more open to the public.
She also said she would telephone Pawlenty today to try to improve the working relationship between DFLers and the two-term governor.
"I guess I hold out hope that the governor can see the results of the election and see that there has been a stronger DFL majority returned to the House," she said. Kelliher said the governor and legislators needed to work on "behalf of Minnesotans" and "not [be] concerned about our own selves."
Sertich said DFLers were confident. "When you have the largest majority in the last 30 years and you see ... gains continuously, year after year, there's an excitement about that," he said.