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Minn. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie not seeking re-election

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After spending eight years in office, Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election in 2014.

The Star Tribune reports Ritchie, 61, became a national figure during the 2008 U.S. Senate recount where Sen. Al Franken narrowly defeated former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman.

The two-term Democrat from Minneapolis also presided over the recount in the 2010 race for governor between Gov. Mark Dayton and Tom Emmer.

Ritchie was first elected in 2006, when he defeated incumbent Republican Mary Kiffmeyer, MPR reports. He won re-election in 2010.

The Star Tribune says Ritchie also made headlines last year for electing to change the wording of two Republican-approved constitutional amendments. GOP lawmakers took Ritchie to court, which eventually ruled against him.

MinnPost compiled reports of possible candidates that may seek Ritchie's post, including Hennepin County Elections Manager Rachel Bohman and Rep. Steve Simon, a DFLer from St. Louis Park and chair of the House elections committee.

Republican Kent Kaiser, who worked in the Secretary of State office when it was last in Republican hands, told the Star Tribune that he is also seriously considering a run.

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