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Republican Sen. Scott Jensen says he won't stand for re-election

He has represented Carver County since 2016.
Scott Jensen

After just one term in office, Republican Sen. Scott Jensen says he won't be seeking re-election in 2020.

The senator, who represents Carver County, announced his decision on his Facebook page on Sunday, citing the "tenuous balance that life presents."

He says that he wants to spend more time with his wife, children and four – soon to be five – grandchildren, as well as focus more on his work as president of Catalyst Medical Clinic, which has locations in Chaska and Watertown.

Jensen has proven to be one of the few Republican senators willing to work across the aisle with Democrats in recent years, something he noted in his video.

"I'm a citizen legislator, I said that from the beginning. I didn't run to rub elbows with bigwigs. I didn't run to go along and get along.

"I've been willing to engage in discussions on topics that I've never dreamt of, but I felt were important. That's angered some folks, but pleased others."

Those topics include coming out in favor of the full legalization of marijuana in Minnesota, saying he backs it so it can be accessed for medical reasons by those who don't currently qualify under Minnesota's medical marijuana program.

He also joined a group of Senate Democrats last year to call for two gun control bills, one of them closing the "gun show" and private sale loophole, the other requiring gun owners to report missing or stolen firearms.

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He said the decision not to run again was a difficult one that he chewed over with his wife, veterinarian Mary Jensen.

"I asked my wife what's been the most difficult thing for her with regards to my service in the Senate, and she said it really wasn't the lonely nights waiting for me to get home, but probably more that when I was home I was preoccupied, and probably engaged with things other than my family and my practice, and medicine.

""My patients have been clear they would like me to be available to them full time year-round and I get that. There are many chapters in their life that they're walking through and I want to be alongside of them."

Jensen was elected to Senate District 47 in 2016. He is one of four physicians in the Legislature, and the only Republican.

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