Tim Kelly – Republican from Red Wing – isn't seeking re-election

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The Minnesota House Transportation Policy and Finance Committee chair is the latest lawmaker to announce he won't be seeking re-election this year.

Rep. Tim Kelly, a Republican from Red Wing, announced Wednesday he wants to spend more time with his family – he became a grandfather last year and his youngest child is graduating from high school in May – and on his business, Discovery Financial.

"It has always been, and will continue to be, a privilege to serve in the Minnesota House," Kelly said in the release. "I would like to thank all of my constituents for their support over the past eight years."

MPR News says Kelly will be "front and center" as lawmakers debate a long-term transportation funding plan – lawmakers failed to reach a deal last year, but in Kelly's announcement Wednesday, he says he is looking forward to finalizing a compromise with the Senate during the 2016 Legislative Session.

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Kelly, who was first elected in 2008, also serves on the House Health and Human Services Reform and Rules and Legislative Administration committees, the Session Daily reports.

He was previously on the House Ethics Committee, but stepped down following a public spat with law enforcement last summer. It stemmed from a citation he and another legislator got for "making out" in a car – they both denied the claims, but didn't challenge the citation in court.

A Democrat – Lisa Bayley – has already announced her intentions to run for Kelly's House District 21A seat, the Red Wing Republican Eagle reports.

Kelly is the second House Republican this week to announce their retirement, the Session Daily notes. On Monday, Rep. Mark Anderson, R-Lake Shore, said he's not running again – he wants to spend more time brewing beer.

Four House Democrats have said they won't run again: Rep. Joe Atkins, Rep. Carly Melin, Rep. Kim Norton and Rep. Erik Simonson (he's seeking a Senate seat.)

The Pioneer Press is keeping a running list of all the Minnesota lawmakers who aren't seeking re-election this year. It's now up to 19.

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