Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic Steps Down to Focus on Cancer Treatment, Leaves DFL in Search of New Leader

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – After leading the 34-member DFL caucus through a historic 2023 session, Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic stunned her fellow senators with the announcement that she will step down from her leadership post to focus on her cancer treatment.

Dziedzic, 61, shared her decision in a written statement, citing the return of her cancer and the serious challenges she is facing. The news came as a surprise to many, especially considering how she successfully navigated major surgery, cancer treatment, and the historic 2023 session.

Sen. Heather Gustafson, DFL-Vadnais Heights, spoke highly of Dziedzic, recounting how the majority leader had mentored her as a freshman senator. The support and guidance provided by Dziedzic showcased her leadership and dedication to her colleagues.

Despite the challenges of her cancer diagnosis, Dziedzic continued to lead the DFL through a period of significant policy changes, including legislation on gun safety measures, expanded abortion access, marijuana legalization, restoration of voting rights for felons, and creating a safe haven for transgender residents.

During the difficult session, Dziedzic demonstrated resilience and determination, never allowing her diagnosis to hinder the progress of the caucus. Her return to the Capitol after cancer surgery was a testament to her commitment to the role and the responsibilities it entailed.

As the caucus now prepares to select a new leader, the senators express their admiration for Dziedzic’s leadership and resilience in the face of adversity. The search for a successor is underway, but the senators remain focused on ensuring a seamless transition to the new leadership. Well-wishes for Dziedzic’s recovery continue to pour in from Capitol leaders, emphasizing her significant impact as a leader and her enduring legacy.