Updated:
Original:

Jim Metzen, one of the longest serving MN lawmakers, dies at age 72

Author:

Minnesota state Sen. Jim Metzen has died at age 72.

According to a news release, the Democrat from South St. Paul died from lung cancer late Monday.

Metzen was one of the longest-serving Minnesota lawmakers ever, the Pioneer Press reported earlier this year. He was first elected to public office when he was just 23 years old – he served on the South St. Paul City Council until he was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1974.

He was re-elected to the House in 10 campaigns, the release says, before being elected to the state Senate in 1986. Metzen was serving in his ninth term in the Senate, but had announced earlier this year he wouldn't be seeking re-election due to health problems.

Metzen got a standing ovation when he decided to retire.

https://twitter.com/kpottermn/status/734783179421323264

During his tenure, he served as the president of the Senate from 2003 to 2011, as well as the chair of numerous committees and subcommittees. He focused on employment, education, taxes and economic development, his bio says.

The Pioneer Press says Metzen was known around the Capitol for his "easy laugh and congenial attitude."

He survived by his wife and two children, according to his bio.

People who knew the longtime lawmaker have been sharing their condolences.

Lt. Gov. Tina Smith released a statement saying Metzen "loved the Minnesota Senate, South St. Paul, hockey, and most of all his family. He represented his district with energy and commitment for 42 years. He was a great friend, and we will all miss him very much."

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said he'll always remember Metzen for his "wonderful personality, his jokes and his nicknames for everyone." 

https://twitter.com/LindaIHiggins/status/752855431895134208

https://twitter.com/reprickhansen/status/752835009266917381

https://twitter.com/Darielled/status/752850122514440195

https://twitter.com/Darielled/status/752850122514440195

https://twitter.com/jeremyrmiller/status/752849076966813696

https://twitter.com/KevinDahle/status/752852171306270720

https://twitter.com/ChuckWiger/status/752853239557566464

Next Up

uprooted tree in Burnsville

NWS: Tornadoes confirmed to have struck Apple Valley, Burnsville

A crazy night of storms may have included even more tornadoes.

police lights

Man charged with manslaughter after fistfight ends in death

The incident happened at a veterans housing complex in Chisholm.

Concert

Ellison reaches $1.9M settlement with StubHub over COVID cancellations

The ticket reselling giant will pay $1.87 million in refunds for Minnesota events.

Everson Griffen

Everson Griffen injured in car accident after swerving to miss a deer

Griffen was involved in the crash Thursday on his way to work.

Screen Shot 2021-09-17 at 8.30.16 AM

DPS sparks furore with 'not reaching' pouches designed to stop police shootings

The pouches were developed in collaboration with Valerie Castile, whose son Philando was fatally shot by police while reaching for his permit-to-carry.

police lights

Maintenance worker finds 2 bodies in West St. Paul garage

It's unclear how long the bodies were in the garage before being discovered.

Screen Shot 2021-09-17 at 10.42.39 AM

Tree branch falls on tent in Mankato, killing 4-year-old girl

The tree branch fell at approximately 2:30 a.m.

Related

Hennepin County's longest-serving sheriff has died

Authorities say he helped shape the sheriff's office into what it is today.