Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic has cancer surgery

Kari Dziedzic poses for a portrait
Kari Dziedzic, Majority Leader-designate of the Minnesota Senate poses for a portrait at Minnesota Senate Building in St Paul,, Minn. on Dec. 20.
Kerem Yücel | MPR News

The DFL leader of the Minnesota Senate revealed Tuesday that she had been diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery Monday.

Kari Dziedzic, the Minneapolis Democrat who was elected to lead the 34-member Senate DFL caucus last year after the party won control in the November election, said in a statement that she had an abnormal pap smear test in December and had been undergoing other tests since mid-January.

“On Friday, my doctors determined I should undergo surgery on Monday to remove a cancerous tumor,” Dziedzic said. “I did so yesterday; the surgery was a success; and I am grateful to my doctors, nurses, and all the support staff at the University of Minnesota for the care I received.”

Dziedzic voted remotely during the Senate session on Tuesday, as is allowed under Senate rules.

“I plan to physically return to the Capitol soon,” Dziedzic said in the statement.  “Until then, I will continue leading the Senate DFL caucus, and doing the work for the people of my district and all Minnesotans through the remote technology we’ve all become accustomed to over the past few years.”

Dziedzic, 60, was first elected to the Senate in 2012. Her father, Walt Dziedzic, was a longtime Minneapolis city council and park board member.

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