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Rep. John Kriesel bids farewell to colleagues

The first-term lawmaker is leaving the state legislature to lead the Anoka County’s Veterans Services Office. Kriesel was among the retiring legislators to address the Minnesota House following the adjournment of the 2012 session Thursday morning.
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The first-term lawmaker is leaving the state legislature to lead the Anoka County’s Veterans Services Office. Kriesel was among some of the 23 retiring members to address the Minnesota House following the adjournment of the 2012 session Thursday morning.

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(Hat tip to MinnPost)

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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."

Kriesel says decision not to run was personal, not political

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.

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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."

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Sgt. John Kriesel was hired as Anoka County's director of Veterans Services to help veterans manage their lives. He didn't realize he'd be working with two people who helped save his after he was injured in 2006 in Iraq. "What are the odds?" asked Kriesel, who went on to serve a term in the state Legislature. "It's almost too good to believe."