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Three Minnesotans make GOP ‘Legislators to Watch’ list

Three Republican legislators from Minnesota make the list of 17 “GOP Legislators to Watch” put out by Governing magazine.

The magazine says they are:

John Kriesel, the independent-minded war hero from Afton:

Kriesel, a self-described “blue-collar guy,” worked in manufacturing and enlisted in the Minnesota Army National Guard at age 17. He served in Kosovo and Iraq, losing both legs in a roadside bomb explosion. He was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Purple Heart Medal and the Bronze Star Medal. Kriesel, who briefly worked as an intern for former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota in 2007, broke ranks with other Republicans by opposing a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and woman.

And House Speaker Kurt Zellers and Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch:

Zellers and Koch led the GOP to surprise takeovers of both chambers of the Minnesota Legislature in 2010. Of the two, Zellers is considered more energetic, while Koch has a knack for being a conciliator. Zellers was previously an aide to former Republican U.S. Sen. Rod Grams of Minnesota while Koch served in the Air Force and was a Russian linguist for the National Security Agency.

One commenter (who gave a fake name) was surprised at the Zellers/Koch pick:

“Are you serious? Amy Koch “has a knack for being a conciliator.”??? Amy Koch and Kurt Zellers shut down the State of Minnesota rather than find a compromise solution for our budget. They shut down the State!!! Lou, I think you must live on a different planet.”

The list maker says nominations came from sources in the states, and admits that no list will ever be complete. But three out of 17 ain’t bad.

A list of Democrats to watch is coming next week.

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