Incoming House Speaker Zellers: No ramming Legislation

by James Nord

With a lengthy gubernatorial recount likely to begin Nov. 29, newly-installed Republican legislative majorities could be handed the opportunity to work with Gov. Tim Pawlenty past his normal term.

If the recount progresses into this Legislative session, which begins in January, Pawlenty would be called to remain as Minnesota’s executive instead of ceding power to a new governor. That scenario could fly in the face of any plans DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton, who is currently leading his Republican opponent Tom Emmer by about 8,750 votes, would likely support.

Rep. Kurt Zellers, elected House Speaker on Saturday, was originally tight-lipped about any Republican plans on working with Pawlenty. Later, he told the Associated Press that Republicans won’t “rush to ram something right through” if Pawlenty sticks around.

Pawlenty said Thursday he would only do what is constitutionally required of him if he must extend his term and would only with deal with issues as they arise.

The recount is scheduled to be completed by mid-December, according to Secretary of State guidelines.