Election to replace lawmaker leaving for lobbying firm job will be next year

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The special election to replace an outgoing state lawmaker – who said last month she's leaving for a job with a lobbying firm – will come next year.

Rep. Anne Lenczewski had served in the state Legislature since 1999, and was known for her tax policy prowess. But last month the Democrat announced she was leaving her seat (which she'd won handily in recent elections) "to return to the private sector.”

At the firm Lockridge Grindahl Nauen P.L.L.P., Lenczewski will work on the government relations team, the firm said in a statement.

So a successor needs to be chosen.

The Office of the Secretary of State said Tuesday a special election to fill that seat (House District 50B, the Bloomington area in the south Twin Cities metro) will be Feb. 9 of next year.

Candidates can file starting Dec. 8, through 5 p.m. Dec. 14. The withdrawal period goes until Dec. 15 at 5 p.m. They're the same dates and deadlines as the special election to replace Republican Sen. Branden Petersen, who in October said he was leaving.

Lawmakers and lobbying

Lenczewski is not alone as a former state lawmaker jumping to the lobbying side.

The Pioneer Press earlier this year found since 2002, at least 60 legislators registered to be lobbyists when done as a state senator or representative.

The official rules for the House of Representatives state former legislators can not register as lobbyists for 12 months after leaving their seat – but the Pioneer Press noted that rule is "routinely ignored."

Lobbyists in the state of Minnesota are tracked by the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. A list of designated lobbyists can be found here.

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