After the Jobs for Minnesotans press conference we had the opportunity to speak with former Minority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL-03 Cook). In our conversation we learned the following, no he is not changing parties and yes he will be running for reelection. He did acknowledge it will be hard for the DFL to maintain control on the Iron Range due to the and the popularity of Donald J Trump (R) and the election of Congressman Pete Stauber (R-08MN). He referred to Sen David Tomassoni’s (06, Chisholm) district which Trump carried, but not by that sizable of a margin. Trump only had 47.6 on the 06A side and 47.1% on the 60B side. He pointed out the life of the DFL on the Range will be determined on how they draw the next redistricting map, and if the mapmakers isolate the Range and significantly reduce representation they will do so at their own peril.
We asked if he knew who had cast the deciding vote against him and he said he knew, but wasn’t willing to share. We discussed the significant split his ouster caused in the caucus and he said, “That’s going to last a very long time.”