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    State of Play

    Minnesota: Beyond 'The Body,' GOP Makes Headway

    State Capital Strategies
    Friday, Nov. 6, 1998

    Professional wrestler Jesse Ventura – the nation's first Reform Party governor – captured the spotlight Tuesday, but Republicans also made headlines in Minnesota by capturing control of the 134-member state House, which the Democratic-Farm-Labor (DFL) party controlled for 14 consecutive years and for most of the past two decades. Former minority leader Steve Sviggum (R) is expected to become speaker. Governor-elect Ventura may help Republicans at the cabinet level as well; he will ask many of Republican Gov. Arne Carlson's administrative team to remain – a signal of a possible alliance with the new GOP-controlled House.

    More State Political News From:
    New Hampshire | North Carolina | Washington | Wisconsin

    New Hampshire: Democrats Break GOP's 86-Year Control


    Democrats rode Gov. Jeanne Shaheen's coattails to win control of the 24-member state Senate for the first time in 86 years. The Democrats now own a 13-11 majority. The 400-member House is still solidly in Republican hands.

    North Carolina: Democrats Take House, Build in Senate


    In a surprise to political observers, Democrats gained several seats to take control of the 120-member House, which the GOP had controlled for 4 years. The speaker's race should be a battle between minority leader Jim Black (D) of Charlotte and former House Speaker Dan Blue (R) of Raleigh. In the 50-member Senate, Democrats built on their majority, and Marc Basnight will continue as President Pro Tempore. The new Democratic General Assembly will work with Democratic Gov. Jim Hunt.

    Washington: Democrats Win in Legislative Turnover


    Democrats took control of Washington's 49-member state Senate, and returns that are still trickling in suggest that Democrats will control the 98-member state House. Senate Democrats will meet this weekend to choose caucus leaders; Sen. Sid Snyder is likely to emerge as majority leader. House Democrats are likely to organize soon as well, and Rep. Frank Chopp may become the first House Speaker from Seattle since 1962.

    Wisconsin: Democrats Recapture Senate Majority


    Republicans retained their majority in the 99-member Assembly, but Democrats re-captured control of the 33-member Senate. Democrats swept the three open Senate seats to lead by a margin of17-16, taking back the majority they lost in April 1998 due to a special election. Senate and House caucuses are meeting this week to select legislative leaders.

    © Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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