Lohmer elected as assistant majority leader

Rep. Kathy Lohmer
Rep. Kathy Lohmer

House Republicans announce new leadership team

Minnesota’s Republican caucus announced its leaders for the 2015 legislative session last week. Among them is state Rep. Kathy Lohmer, R-Lake Elmo, who was elected as an assistant House majority leader.

“It’s a real honor and privilege to be elected from your own caucus,” Lohmer said Friday, Dec. 5. “I look back at my time in public service and have learned so much since my freshman term that will help in this leadership role.”

Lohmer defeated DFL challenger Tom Degree in November’s general election, earning her a third term in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

Republicans regained control of the Minnesota House last month when the party picked up 11 seats to give them a 72-62 majority. The Republican caucus will be busy over the coming weeks setting its legislative priorities and assigning committee appointments prior to the start of the 2015 legislative session on Jan. 6.

“I’m honored to have Representative Lohmer join our leadership team,” House Speaker-designate Kurt Daudt said in a written statement. “Her passion for working to find low-cost and high-quality solutions to our health care system will be an asset for our caucus.”

Lohmer said she is humbled to have the support of her Republican colleagues and to “have a voice at the leadership table as we set our agenda for the next two years.” She believes her commitment to “market-oriented and patient-centered health care reforms will serve Minnesotans well as we begin to find solutions to fix MNsure.”

The District 39B lawmaker said it’s too early to name specifics on how to change the health care system, noting that a lot of what is written into law as part of the Affordable Care Act would be hard to change. She said a first step would be determining what could be changed legally to reform and improve health care for Minnesotans.

While campaigning this fall, Lohmer said she would work to find solutions that would lead to real health care reform. She believes a solution lies in the private sector.

“Health insurance premiums need to be affordable with freedom for people to choose and keep their own doctors and health care providers,” she told the Review.

In addition to health care reform, Lohmer said some other legislative priorities would include addressing transportation needs, roads and bridges, as well as the growing needs of the seniors across the state.

She said the Legislature needs to take a close look at the state’s projected $1 billion surplus, with a goal of being careful not to overspend taxpayer money.

“My view is that every government agency should do more zero-based budgeting,” she said.

Lohmer said it’s crucial that government look for more efficiencies to reduce wasteful spending.

She said she would be meeting with other House leaders and committee chairs starting this week.

The House Republican Caucus elected five other assistant majority leaders last week. State Rep. Tim Sander, R-Blaine, joins Lohmer as the only other assistant majority leader from the metro.

“That’s one of the reasons I ran [for assistant majority leader]. I thought we needed suburban representation to create some balance,” Lohmer said.

Completing the Republican leadership team are: House Speaker-designate Kurt Daudt, R-Crown; House Majority Leader-elect Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers, and Majority Caucus Whip-elect Rep. Dan Fabian, R-Roseau.

“Our new team of leaders and our entire caucus look forward to listening to and working beside Minnesotans to prioritize the needs of our state. House Republicans understand all of Minnesota matters – not just one part of the state or another – and we are proud to bring those priorities forward over the next two years,” Peppin said in a written statement.

Joshua Nielsen can be reached at jnielsen@lillienews.com or 651-748-7822.


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