Feb. 10, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Democratic Losses Hit State Farm Teams Hard

“Let them do their victory lap, but it’ll be one lap exactly. ... We have a pretty deep bench here,” said Graeme Zielinski, communications director for the Wisconsin Democratic Party. “They will have to own their record at some point soon. A week in power, they have been talking about gays, guns, banning fake weed. They haven’t been talking about creating jobs. They’ve been talking about their weirdo, right agenda.”

In Minnesota, Republicans claimed 41 seats between both chambers, taking control of the state Senate for the first time in history.

State GOP Chairman Tony Sutton says the political landscape may have changed forever.

“You had a thinning of the herd,” he said of Democrats. “And it thinned out those that are more middle-of-the-road Democrats. In some respects it will make it hard for them legislatively; the people that are left are very liberal. And they’re left with an urban-centric delegation in a state that is largely suburban and rural.”

For example, Senate Majority Whip Kathy Saltzman (D) was defeated in her Washington County district, despite having won the endorsement of the state Chamber of Commerce.

While the GOP cheers the loss of up-and-comers like Saltzman, last week’s shift also elevates the Republican farm team’s prospects.

Minnesota’s Senate will now feature the first female Republican president and Majority Leader combination, according to Sutton, who added that the likely new Republican House Speaker, Kurt Zellers, “is a real rising star” at just 41 years old.

In New Hampshire, however, there are signs that the defeated Democrats might not be gone for long. In addition to Kuster’s likely candidacy, Pignatelli offered supporters cause for optimism in a message posted on her website.

“It’s clear that what happened here in New Hampshire was stunning, even for politics. There will be lots written about it, that’s for sure,” she wrote. “A favor — as you travel on the roads in District 5, if you see any of my signs along the roadside, will you please stop and pick them up? Would appreciate it. Maybe you’d be willing to save them for a couple of years. ...”

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