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Duluth Democrat says it's time for his next chapter, won't seek re-election

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Sen. Roger Reinert will not be seeking re-election this year, leaving a state senate seat open.

The Duluth Democrat, who is on his 13th year in public office, made the announcement Sunday, saying it is the right time to step away.

In an email news release, Reinert said: "2015 was amazing. I finished my first year of law school, was promoted to Lt. Commander in the Navy, and most importantly – got married. 2016 is the right time for the next chapter of life."

He also addressed constituents in a video on his Facebook page:

He started his political career in 2004 as a member of the Duluth City Council, where he was city council president twice. He also served one term in the Minnesota House of Representatives, and is currently finishing his second term in the Minnesota Senate, where he has served on the Taxes, Transportation and Public Safety, and Commerce committees.

During his career, Reinert has helped support changes and investments in Duluth, and has worked to repeal the ban on Sunday liquor sales. He authored legislation allowing craft breweries to be open on Sundays and allow micro-distilleries to serve and sell their product on-site, the release says.

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"I am truly thankful for the honor and privilege to serve the community I love. My work is not done though, and I look forward to advocating for Duluth during the 2016 legislative session,” Reinert said in the release.

In the upcoming session, Reinert says he'll push for transportation funding, a "fair and balanced" tax bill and Duluth-area bonding project proposals, the release says.

Reinert serves District 7 – a "DFL fortress" that covers nearly the entire city of Duluth, Minnesota Brown says, noting the open seat could mean an interesting DFL primary for the city. State Rep. Erik Simonson, DFL-Duluth, has already told his supporters he plans to run for Reinert's seat, Minnesota Brown notes.

Reinert told the Duluth News Tribune he decided to announce he won't be seeking re-election now to make sure there was enough time for a "strong field of candidates to emerge."

Reinert also said he won't be hand-picking his successor, the paper notes.

The Pioneer Press has a list of politicians who have decided not to seek re-election.

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