Lawmaker will step down to spend more time brewing beer

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Rep. Mark Anderson is the latest lawmaker to announce his exit from the legislature – saying he wants to spend more time with family and overseeing his three businesses, which includes a microbrewery.

Two-termer Anderson (R-Lake Shore) announced on Tuesday he won't be seeking a third term in Minnesota's House, leaving a vacancy in District 9A – covering areas of Wadena, Todd and Cass Counties.

A professional pilot and microbrewery entrepreneur, he said in a press release he was stepping away after four years in the House to spend more time with his family and give "more attention" to the three companies he runs with his wife Barb.

The Brainerd Dispatch reports Anderson is the owner of Gull Dam Brewing in Nisswa, the pilot service MTA Enterprises, and a third unnamed company.

"I've given it my best for four years but I'm still a business guy by profession, and I have business to attend to," he told the newspaper. "I believe every legislator reaches a point in their life where they should pass the baton."

He described himself as having a "niche" in the House as an "advocate for responsible spending, business growth to expand the workforce, and taxpayer protection."

He was also the author of the bill repealing Minnesota's ban on possession of gun suppressors, saying he is a "strong supporter of the Second Amendment."

His family name is familiar in Minnesota politics: His father Don served in the Minnesota Senate between 1982-1990.

Anderson is the 18th lawmaker to decide against seeking re-election this fall.

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