Yesterday, a special election was held in Senate District 25 to replace Sen. Tom Neuville (R-Northfield), who was recently appointed as a District Judge by Gov. Tim Pawlenty. While the district has turned "purple" over the years, Sen. Neuville has had a commanding hold on the seat since 1990. Pundits were therefore surprised when political newcomer and DFLer Kevin Dahle, a high school teacher, yesterday defeated former Republican Rep. Ray Cox, 55% to 42%.
The addition of DFLer Dahle makes the Senate veto-proof with a two-thirds majority, 45-22. With a House election where all 134 seats are up for election only 10 months away, it may embolden moderate GOP members in swing districts to break from their caucus and vote with DFLers, potentially making the House veto-proof as well on issues such as transportation funding. Currently, House Democrats need five more votes to override a gubernatorial veto, as they control the body 85-49.
For more information on the special election, go to: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/01/03/spec_election/ or http://www.twincities.com/allheadlines/ci_7880346.