Senate DFL Leader Susan Kent Calls for Senate Majority Leader Gazelka’s Resignation Amid Reports of Lack of COVID-19 Precautions, Outbreak, Cover-up

Senate DFL Leader Susan Kent called for Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka’s resignation as majority leader amid public reports of multiple, large, in-person Senate Republican gatherings that led to a COVID-19 outbreak. Information about the outbreak was not disclosed to Senate DFLers or nonpartisan staff prior to an in-person special session that took place on November 12th. Uncertainty remains as to who was potentially exposed due to a major lack of precautionary steps by Senate Republicans. Senate DFL Leader Susan Kent released the following statement: 

“I am calling for Senator Gazelka’s resignation as majority leader of the Minnesota Senate. As state leaders it is our responsibility to lead by example. The Senate Majority Leader is entrusted with the responsibility of keeping all members and staff in the Senate safe. Senator Gazelka has failed to do both. Under his leadership, Republican caucus members have engaged in high-risk behaviors, he has misled Minnesotans about their actions, and they have made excuses instead of being accountable. This demonstrates that he is not committed to providing for the well-being of all who work in the Senate, their families, and their communities. As a result, he cannot be counted on to lead during the crucial 2021 session.”

“We are at a pivotal point in our fight against COVID-19 and actions speak louder than words. We need to provide measures that ensure workplace safety, such as testing and tracing so we can make informed decisions and keep each other safe. I am in the process of working with the Governor’s administration to ensure both are available to all members and staff in the Senate.”

Senator Susan Kent
Susan Kent represents District 53 in the eastern Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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