Rep. Bob Gunther (R-Fairmont) will not seek re-election when his current term in the Minnesota House of Representatives ends, he announced Thursday.
In a written statement, the 13-term lawmaker thanked his constituents in District 23A for their support and the opportunity to represent them.
“It has truly been an honor and a privilege, but after nearly twenty five years of being in the political arena I am ready to spend more time with my family,” Gunther said.
Gunther took office after a special election in 1995 and served as chair of several committees during his time in the House. He is currently Republican lead on the Jobs and Economic Development Finance Division, and has chaired the Greater Minnesota Economic and Workforce Development and Legacy committees.
He has also served as an assistant minority leader and an assistant majority leader.
Among his accomplishments at the Legislature, Gunther said he is proud of encouraging business expansion in rural Minnesota, helping provide grants for affordable workforce housing and helping create the I-90 corridor.
Gunther said that although he wanted to announce his retirement now in order give others in his district time to run for office, he intends to continue working on their behalf.
"While I am not seeking re-election, residents should remember that I will continue to represent them until a new state representative is seated in 2021,” Gunther said. “As always, I encourage them to contact me with any legislative questions or concerns."
House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) released a statement Thursday thanking Gunther for his service.
“Bob has been champion for southern Minnesota, beloved by the communities he’s served, and universally respected at the Capitol over the past 25 years,” Daudt said. “Our caucus is so grateful for his years of public service, quiet leadership, and the wisdom he’s shared with us over the years. We want to wish Bob and Nancy a happy retirement as they step away from the legislature.”