West metro senator Paul Anderson to retire after just one term

The DFL is already eyeing his district as an opportunity to flip.
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A rookie senator representing parts of the western Twin Cities has announced his retirement after one term.

Republican Sen. Paul Anderson was first elected in 2016, taking over Senate District 44, which covers parts of Plymouth and Minnetonka, after beating Democratic candidate Deb Calvert by less than 200 votes.

On Friday, he announced that he will be stepping down following this year's elections as his "personal and professional life" requires more attention in what is expected to be a busy election year.

He said it has been "one of the great honors of my life" to serve his district.

He has been among the more moderate voices in the Senate since being elected, joining fellow GOP Sen. Scott Jensen (who is also stepping down) and a group of Democrats in calling for two new gun safety laws, one of them closing the private sale loophole, the other requiring gun owners to report missing or stolen firearms.

With his retirement announced, the Minnesota DFL is already eyeing up his district as a possible gain this November, as the Democrats seek to take back control of the Senate.

The DFL notes that in the 2018 elections for Minnesota Governor, Attorney General, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House, Democrats swept Republicans up and down the ballot by considerable margins.

During his time in office, Sen. Anderson has been the chief author of more than 40 bills that were later signed into law.

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Among them was providing $9.7 million in funding for the replacement of the Rockford Road Bridge over I-494, and securing $18 million for a food distribution center for Second Harvest Heartland.

He has served for more than 20 years in government, executive, and nonprofit leadership roles, and owns a small strategic consulting firm, The Anderson Group.

"Serving the interests of others has been a calling, honor, and labor of love my entire professional life, and a tremendous blessing these last three years representing the wonderful people of Senate District 44," he said.

"Working together, we have advanced Minnesota’s interests by protecting taxpayers, while improving schools, higher education, health care, public safety, transportation, and more. However, after nearly two decades of public service, my personal and professional life require greater attention than serving in the legislature and a demanding year of campaigning currently allows."

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