Minnesota Democrats' Senate Majority in Peril After Lawmaker Arrested for Burglary

Minnesota state senator Nicole Mitchell (Twitter)
April 23, 2024

Democratic state senator Nicole Mitchell (Minn.) was arrested on Monday and charged with first-degree burglary, jeopardizing Democrats’ one-seat majority in the Minnesota Senate. 

The state senator, dressed in all black, allegedly snuck into and took items from the residence of her stepmother, who made a 911 call at around 4:45 a.m. on Monday. Detroit Lakes, Minn., police arrested Mitchell in the basement of the house, and she has since been held in jail on a charge of first-degree burglary, The Hill reported.

The stepmother had reportedly cut off contact with Mitchell after Mitchell’s father passed away last month, according to a complaint shared with The Hill. "I was just trying to get a couple of my dad’s things because you wouldn’t talk to me anymore," the 49-year-old Democrat told her stepmother as she was being taken into custody.

"Clearly I’m not good at this," Mitchell said during the arrest, adding, "I know I did something bad."

Mitchell's arrest comes as a blow to Minnesota Democrats, who hold a slim one-seat majority in the state’s Senate. With four weeks of the session remaining after the Passover break, her absence could pose challenges for the Democrats in passing their legislative agenda.

Mitchell, a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard and a former meteorologist, was elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2022. 

Republican State Senate minority leader Mark Johnson condemned the state senator’s alleged burglary attempt. 

"The public expects Legislators to meet a high standard of conduct. As information comes out, we expect the consequences to meet the actions, both in the court of law, and in her role at the legislature," Johnson said in a statement.