Jeff Backer to challenge Kurt Daudt for leadership role after GOP fails to take back House 

All of the caucuses in both chambers will be holding leadership votes in the coming days.

Left: Jeff Backer Right: Kurt Daudt

Republican Rep. Jeff Backer, who cruised to victory over his DFL challenger Tuesday night, announced his candidacy for leader of the House Republican Caucus, a position currently held by Rep. Kurt Daudt.

“Despite each of our own victories, the election didn’t give us majority control and we are once again confronted with the reality of another two years as the minority party in the Minnesota House,” Backer said in a letter to the GOP caucus and newly-elected members Wednesday.

“We can and must do better,” he continued, thanking Daudt for his eight years as leader but calling for a change.

“To get us back in the majority will require a work horse, not a show horse,” said Backer. “It will take a leader with grit and dogged determination. Someone who will drive the four corners of the state and every suburb in the metro area to meet with prospective candidates and donors to build our team, raise money and run aggressive campaigns.”

After the 2018 midterms, four Republican legislators formed the New House Republican Caucus because of their frustration with Daudt’s leadership. Most recently, Daudt faced heavy criticism from the rogue caucus for accepting a position with Stateside Associates, a Virginia-based lobbying firm, while still serving in the House.

“Leadership of the caucus shouldn’t be about consolidating and maintaining power for multiple terms; it should be about striving to achieve our caucus goals as one team,” Backer continued.

All of the caucuses in both chambers will be holding leadership votes in the coming days.

If the results hold, Republicans will have cut the DFL’s 16-seat majority in the House down by six seats.