Unclear if Fischbach can keep Senate seat as Lt. Governor

With Governor Mark Dayton announcing Lt. Governor Tina Smith as his presumed appointee for Senator Al Franken’s seat comes another potential legal battle between Dayton and Minnesota Senate Republicans.

Under the constitution, Senate President Michelle Fischbach, a Republican, ascends to the office of Lt. Governor.

Fischbach said Wednesday she intends to do that, but also keep her Senate seat, where Republicans only have a one seat majority. Fischbach says a Supreme Court ruling from 1898 sets precedent. Governor Dayton said his understanding is she cannot hold both offices and has asked the Attorney General for an opinion.

“I spoke with the Governor briefly, I did tell him my intent was to serve in both roles,” said Fischbach. “The motivating factor for me is I was elected by the constituents of Senate District 13 and I have a commitment to represent them in the Senate.”

Governor Dayton and Senator Fischbach are set to have lunch Friday at the Governor’s Mansion.