ST. PAUL (AP) -- Republicans who control the Minnesota Senate showed their displeasure with Democratic Governor Tim Walz by ousting his commissioner of labor and industry amid a dispute over the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Senate voted 34-32 Wednesday not to confirm Peggy Lippink, whose agency has been in charge of workplace safety during the pandemic.

GOP leaders did not publicly announce their plans for the vote in advance, prompting Democratic leaders to denounce the move as a shameful political ploy.

Walz called it ``political payback'' and expressed fear that Senate Republicans will now go after his health commissioner, Jan Malcolm.

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