Four Republican members of the Minnesota House are breaking away from their caucus to form their own group, exposing a rift in the GOP and potentially altering the political dynamics at the Capitol.
Reps. Steve Drazkowski of Mazeppa, Tim Miller of Prinsburg, Cal Bahr of East Bethel and Jeremy Munson of Lake Crystal released a statement Monday calling themselves the New House Republican Caucus.
In their statement, the members said they wanted more control over hiring and management of their own staff.
“We … believe this new caucus will allow our members to optimize our ability to serve our constituents and properly represent them at the State Capitol,” they said in the statement.
GOP House Speaker Kurt Daudt, who will be minority leader after the Democrats took the majority in the November election, wrote a letter to colleagues that was obtained by the Star Tribune, informing his colleagues of the breakaway caucus. He said the move will require the existing GOP caucus to reorganize and possibly fire more staff after already making steep reductions following the election loss.
“As a result of these members’ actions, we will likely be forced to lay off additional staff, and the incoming House DFL majority will reduce our committee slots,” Daudt wrote.
Miller and Munson both ran for GOP leadership posts and lost.
MPR News first reported about the new Republican caucus.