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Published April 13, 2024

Dziedzic to step down from Senate leadership

The announcement comes after Dziedzic says her ovarian cancer has returned.
Image by Shalom Berhane
District 60 Minnesota State Sen. Kari Dziedzic (DFL) poses for a portrait in front of Folwell Hall on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022.

Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic (Minneapolis-DFL), whose district includes the University of Minnesota, announced Friday that she will step down from her leadership post after ovarian cancer came back.

She remains in her leadership post until Senate Democrats elect a new majority leader, the statement read.

Dzieddzic said in the statement “it was an honor to be part of that transformational 2023 session, ” listing a laundry list of last year’s legislative achievements, including the Paid Family and Medical Leave bill or universal free meals.

During last year’s session, Dziedzic underwent surgery and worked from home for a month, according to the StarTribune. In the statement, she said she faces “some serious challenges” due to the cancer’s return. She felt it was “in the best interest of the caucus” for her to step down from leadership.

Similarly to Dziedzic, Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) alluded to last year’s achievements in a statement, as well as her relationship to the senator.

“Minnesota could not have asked for a better, more effective leader of the Minnesota Senate,” Hortman said. “Her kind, thoughtful, and wise leadership brought the Senate through the most productive legislative session in 50 years.”

Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson (R-East Grand Forks) released a statement saying Dziedzic is in his prayers after hearing the news.

“I wish her all the best as she takes care of herself and beats cancer again,” Johnson said. “I know she will.”

Dziedzic made no mention of leaving the legislative body in the statement. At the end of the statement, she urged the importance of regular check-ups and hugging loved ones.

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