(St. Paul, MN) -- Ah, the twists and turns of politics. House Speaker-designate, Democrat Paul Thissen has named Edina Representative-elect Ron Erhardt to chair the Transportation Policy Committee. Erhardt used to be a Republican until he and five other Republicans voted with House Democrats in spring 2008 to successfully override then Governor Tim Pawlenty's veto of a gas tax increase. Not surprisingly, Erhardt was denied his party's endorsement. He ran unsuccessfully as an independent in 2008 and tried for the D-F-L endorsement two years later but didn't get it. But this year, Erhardt received the Democratic nod and beat his Republican challenger in the same election that Democrats grabbed back control of both the Minnesota House and Senate. Now, Erhardt will chair a committee that oversees -- you guessed it -- the gasoline tax.