House Republican Leads and Commissioners Announced

As the 2019 session draws near, the legislature and governor-elect are making many decisions on their respective leadership teams. Several announcements, including caucus leadership and committee chairs were announced in the last two weeks.

Minority Leader-designate Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) announced minority committee leads for the 2019-20 biennium. Governor-Elect Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor-Elect Peggy Flanagan have also announced their first round of commissioner selections. (See below.)

Minority Committee Leads:

Agricultural and Food Finance & Policy Division – Rep. Rod Hamilton
Capital Investment Division – Rep. Dean Urdahl
Commerce Committee – Rep. Tim O’Driscoll
Education Finance Division – Rep. Ron Kresha
Education Policy Committee – Rep. Sondra Erickson
Energy and Climate Finance & Policy Division – Rep. Chris Swedzinski
Environment and Natural Resources Finance Division – Rep. Dan Fabian
Environment and Natural Resources Policy – Rep. Dale Lueck
Government Operations Committee – Rep. Nick Zerwas
Greater Minnesota Jobs and Economic Development Finance
Division – Rep. Paul Anderson
Health and Human Services Finance Division – Rep. Joe Schomacker
Health and Human Services Policy Committee – Rep. Deb Kiel
Higher Education Finance & Policy Division – Rep. Bud Nornes
Housing Finance and Policy Division – Rep. Tama Theis
Jobs & Economic Development Finance Division – Rep. Bob Gunther
Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Division – Rep. Peggy Scott
Labor Committee – Rep. Jason Rarick
Legacy Finance Division and the Subcommittee on Water – Rep. Josh Heintzeman
Property and Local Tax Division – Rep. Jerry Hertaus
Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance & Policy
Division – Rep. Brian Johnson
Rules and Legislative Administration – Rep. Kurt Daudt
State Government Finance Division – Rep. Tony Albright
Subcommittee on Corrections – Rep. Marion O’Neill
Subcommittee on Early Childhood Finance & Policy -Rep. Mary Franson
Subcommittee on Elections – Rep. Jim Nash
Subcommittee on Legislative Process Reform – Rep. Linda Runbeck
Subcommittee on Local Government – Rep. Joe McDonald
Subcommittee on Long-term Care – Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen
Taxes Committee – Rep. Greg Davids
Transportation Finance & Policy Division – Rep. Paul Torkelson
Veterans and Military Affairs Finance & Policy Division – Rep. Bob Dettmer
Ways and Means Committee – Rep. Pat Garofalo

Governor Walz commissioner selections:


Management and Budget

Myron Frans, a holdover from the Dayton administration, will retain his post as commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) – Minnesota’s top budget official. Prior to serving at MMB, Frans served the Dayton administration as the commissioner of Revenue. He will bring a wealth of budgetary knowledge to the Walz-Flanagan team.

Department of Transportation: 

Former Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives Margaret Anderson Kelliher has been chosen to lead the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Anderson Kelliher, the first female speaker of the Minnesota House, was a key leader in overriding Governor Tim Pawlenty’s veto of a gas tax increase in 2008. She recently lobbied for the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) and was previously a candidate for Congress in Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District.

Department of Administration: 

Currently an assistant commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Administration, Alice Roberts-Davis is slated to take over the lead role at the agency. Prior to joining the Department of Administration, Roberts-Davis worked in corporate governance at Target.

Metropolitan Council: 

mayor and former state legislator Nora Slawik has been tapped to lead the Metropolitan Council. During her tenure as mayor of Maplewood, Slawik was an advocate for improving transportation infrastructure and has supported the expansion of the Gold and Rush Line.

Minnesota Housing (MHFA): 

Jennifer Ho, a former Housing and Urban Development (HUD) official in the Obama administration, has been tapped to lead the Minnesota Housing Finance Authority.

Department of Corrections: 

Inver Grove Heights Police Chief Paul Schnell will take over the lead role in this department. He has served as police chief of Inver Grove Heights since 2017, and has also led police departments in Maplewood and Hastings. Police Chief Schnell served on the Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) board and as president of the Minnesota Juvenile Officers Association.

Department of Education: 

Mary Cathryn Ricker, a middle school teacher and the current executive vice president of the American Federation of Teachers, has been selected as the next commissioner of Education. Ricker also served as president of the Saint Paul Teacher’s Federation (SPTF).

Department of Higher Education: 

Dennis Olson, Jr., Governor-elect Walz’s choice to lead the Department of Higher Education, is currently the executive director of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council. He previously worked at the Minnesota Department of Education, the University of Minnesota, and as commissioner of Education for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Olson, Jr. is an enrolled member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

 Governor-elect Walz’s appointees are acting commissioners until they are confirmed by the Minnesota Senate.


7900 International Drive, Suite 685,

Bloomington, MN 55425

Phone: 651.687.9080

Fax: 651.687.9387

© 2018 ICBM. All Rights Reserved.

A proud state affiliate of the