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Sen. Koenen of Clara City, Minn., named DFL caucus whip

ST. PAUL — Sen. Lyle Koenen will serve as the Majority Caucus Whip when he returns to the Capitol in January.

Koenen, a DFL’er from Clara City who was elected this fall to represent Senate District 17, was recently named to the leadership role by Senate majority Leader-designate Tom Bakk.

“Senator Koenen will bring needed stability in what is often a chaotic scene at the Capitol,” said Bakk.

The main task of majority whip will be to ensure fellow DFL’ers have the information to vote on specific issues.

“The Senate will be taking on a lot of big issues this session and from time to time, several bills will hit the floor at the same time,” said Bakk, and Koenen will need to “keep all of our senators informed of the issues and ready to vote.”

Koenen had served 10 years in the House of Representatives before winning an election this spring to fill the remaining term of the late Sen. Gary Kubly, who died while the legislature was in session.

Koenen survived a DFL primary this summer and went on to defeat former Sen. Joe Gimse, R-Willmar, in November. Senate District 17 includes all of Kandiyohi, Chippewa and Swift Counties and most of Renville County.

 Koenen said he’s looking forward to serving in the new role and the experience he’ll gain from it.

“It is an honor to serve in Sen. Bakk’s leadership team,” said Koenen, in a press release Friday.

“This session will bring many challenges, but I am looking forward to getting Minnesota back on a sound financial track for the future.”

Koenen will also be serving as the DFL vice-chair for the Tax Reform Division. His other committee assignments include Taxes, Environment and Energy, and Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development.

The session begins Jan. 8.

Koenen can be reached via email at sen.lyle.koenen@ or by calling 651-296-5094.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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