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Senator Tom Bakk visiting Superior National at Lutsen. File photo by Rhonda Silence
Rhonda Silence
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Speaking with Senator Tom Bakk “on the road”

It’s been nearly a year since Senator Tom Bakk changed his political party affiliation from DFL to Independent. WTIP spoke with the District 3 senator at that time and caught up with him again this week to find out how he has been received at the Capitol—and in the district—as an Independent.

Senator Bakk was just finishing a tour of bonding projects throughout the state and shared some reflections on dozens of interesting projects on the list to possibly be funded by state general obligation bonds. There is not a lot on the list for Cook County, aside from requests for funding for segments of the Gitchi-Gami State Trail.

Bakk also shared thoughts on serving on the Senate redistricting committee, a coveted Senate appointment that he said was only possible because of his Independent status.

WTIP also asked Bakk for his thoughts on new DFL Senate Minority Leader Melissa Lopez Franzen. Bakk also spoke about Governor Tim Walz’s handling of the COVID19 pandemic and other matters. And, Bakk commended Cook County for its formation of a Housing and Redevelopment Authority in Cook County.

Find Senator Bakk’s full “on the road” conversation with WTIP’s Rhonda Silence below. To learn more about a particular topic of conversation, click the links below.

9:43 – More on bonding, including the Gitchi Gami State Trail

15:17 – Bakk on the Senate redistricting committee

27:49 – Senator Bakk on working as an Independent at the Capitol

35:14 – Senator Bakk on a potential run for Governor

44:11 – Thoughts from Bakk on new DFL Senate Minority Leader

48:20 – Senator Bakk on working with Governor Walz on COVID and other matters

53:00 – Comments from Senator Bakk on the formation of a Cook County HRA