Another longtime member of the Minnesota Legislature has announced his intention to retire following the 2020 elections.
Rep. Bob Gunther, a Republican who has served the Fairmont area in the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1995, has said he will not seek re-election in 2020, and will step down at the end of his term in January 2021.
"I'd like to thank the citizens in House District 23A for their support over the years and for the opportunity to represent their interests in St. Paul," he said in a statement.
"It has truly been an honor and a privilege, but after nearly twenty five years of being in the political arena I am ready to spend more time with my family."
Rep. Gunther was first election in a special election in 1995, and is the second most senior member of the House Republican Caucus.
His retirement comes after the longest-serving representative in Minnesota history, DFL Rep. Lyndon Carlson, announced he will not seek re-election in 2020.
During his time in office, Rep. Gunther has served as chairman of the Jobs and Economic Development Finance Committee, the Greater Minnesota Economic and Workforce Development Policy Committee, and the Legacy Funding Finance Committee.
He cites laws encouraging businesses to expand and relocate to rural Minnesota as among his legislative achievements, as well as his role in creating the I-90 corridor.
Leading the tributes to Gunther is House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, who said: "Bob has been champion for Southern Minnesota, beloved by the communities he’s served, and universally respected at the Capitol over the past 25 years.
"Our caucus is so grateful for his years of public service, quiet leadership, and the wisdom he’s shared with us over the years. We want to wish Bob and Nancy a happy retirement as they step away from the legislature."