John Kriesel won't seek re-election

Republican representative and war veteran John Kriesel announced on KFAN on Thursday morning that he won't seek another term in the House. "At this time, this is the best decision for my family."
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Republican Rep. John Kriesel announced on KFAN on Thursday morning that he won't seek another term in the House.

"At this time, this is the best decision for my family," he says. You can read more at Politics in Minnesota.

Star Tribune editorial writer and columnist Lori Sturdevant tweets "Kriesel's letter didn't say so, but it's become much tougher to be a maverick at the Legislature. Too tough, I'd say."

Kriesel has been one of few Republican legislators to openly oppose a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. "It's often hard to stand up against a group of people who you may be close with or stand up for something that might not be popular, but it's the right thing to do," he says in a speech as he looks back on his military service:

Lavendar Magazine named Kriesel its Person of the Year in 2011.

Kriesel lost both legs and nearly died after a roadside bomb exploded in Iraq. He wrote a book about his experience, "Still Standing: The Story of SSG John Kriesel." (It gets excellent reviews on Amazon.)

You can follow Kriesel on Twitter. Supporters are sharing farewells on Facebook.

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The veteran who lost both legs in the Iraq war says he missed two years of life with his children and that he's stepping down from politics to spend more time with his family. Kriesel gained fame in the Legislature when he became one of few Republicans to speak out against a move to ban same-sex marriage.

Kriesel continues to campaign against marriage amendment

In a fundraising email for Minnesotans United, retiring state Rep. John Kriesel strongly encouraged people to make a donation because "defeating this amendment won't be cheap." The Republican lawmaker also wrote, "We’re facing a constitutional amendment this fall that threatens families. It aims to tell Minnesotans which committed couples are worthy of marriage in our state -- and worse, which ones aren’t."