ST. PAUL — Minnesota state Sen. Susan Kent on Saturday, Feb. 1, was elected Senate minority leader in a closed Democratic-Farmer-Labor caucus vote.

Kent, of Woodbury, overtook former Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk to win the position. She is the first woman to hold the role of Minnesota DFL Senate Leader and takes over the post as Democrats prepare to try and win back control of the chamber later this year.

Kent late last year announced she would challenge the long-time legislative leader and touted her ability to win in her suburban district. She is in her second term in the Senate and faces a challenge this year from former Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens, a Republican and former gubernatorial candidate.

Bakk, a Cook Democrat, served as the Senate Democrats' leader for nearly a decade. The DFL caucus vote total was kept secret on Saturday. Bakk is serving his fifth term in the Minnesota Senate and has advocated for issues and projects central to the Iron Range.

Neither Kent nor Bakk issued a statement immediately following the vote.