Kurt Daudt’s rise to the upper echelons of Minnesota politics is nothing short of meteoric. First elected to the state House of Representatives in 2010, he was an architect of the GOP’s electoral majority in that chamber in 2014—a move that resulted in his elevation to the speakership. He’s steadfast in his conservative beliefs (see his opposition to tax hikes) and is a primary antagonist of Gov. Mark Dayton and DFL leadership (see his willingness to scuttle major legislative bills that included funding for Southwest LRT). Regardless of the party makeup of the 2017 Legislature, Daudt will no doubt play a critical role addressing policies that affect business, including a long-term transportation package and bonding bill.