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Dems drove Minn. politics in '13 as GOP regrouped

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Democrats were in the driver's seat of Minnesota politics in 2013, a year that saw stark shifts in social and fiscal policy.

The first period of one-party Capitol rule in two decades ushered in gay marriage just months after it was on the cusp of being constitutionally barred. And lawmakers approved a budget built on $2.1 billion in tax increases in a state where the no-new-taxes mantra had long prevailed.

For Republicans, it was a year to regroup for a high-stakes 2014 election. Party activists hope to break out of a funk that has the GOP without any statewide office for the first time since 1979.

One of their most recognizable figures, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, announced in May she wouldn't try for another term.

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