To the residents of Dayton, Maple Grove and Rogers,
Nearly fourteen years ago, in 2004, I first ran to serve as your State Representative in the Minnesota House. You put your faith in me and elected me to serve the northwest suburbs that year, and in six subsequent elections. Serving as your State Representative has been the greatest honor of my life.
In addition to being elected by you these past seven terms, I was also privileged to be elected by my colleagues to serve as House Majority Leader, the second most powerful position in the House, for the past four years. I would not have been able to do that job without your support.
Last week, I announced that I will not be seeking re-election to the Minnesota House, and will be resigning my seat on July 2.
I have accepted the position of Director of Government Affairs and General Counsel for the Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA), located in Maple Grove. I am excited to work in the electric energy industry and with rural electric cooperatives. I will be serving as a legal advisor and representing the Association in legal proceedings. Additionally I will lead their government affairs efforts at the state and federal level.
While I have enjoyed my political career tremendously, it is time for me to take a step back from public service and return to employment in the private sector. Serving in the Legislature was not meant to be a full-time career for me, but rather a temporary public service. It is time for me to step aside now and let someone with new ideas, goals and skills step forward to serve.
The confidence you have placed in me has been very much appreciated and it has been an absolute pleasure to serve you at our State Capitol. With your support, we have been able to accomplish a great deal, including construction of the Maple Grove Hospital, funding the completion of Highway 610 and the Brockton Avenue interchanges on I-94, financial aid to victims of the Rogers tornado, education reform, and much-needed changes to the fiscal disparities program to provide tax relief to Rogers homeowners.
As State Representative, I’ve always tried to keep you – and all Minnesota taxpayers – in mind whenever making a decision on how to vote. As a conservative legislator, I have fought for limited, efficient and effective government, to allow families to keep more of their hard earned income, for the protection of life, for personal responsibility and individual liberty. At the same time, I have understood that government has a role to play in caring for the disabled, for children, seniors, veterans and those in need of a temporary hand up.
Making decisions on these, and other important issues is very rarely a simple yes or no. Every issue has multiple perspectives, and I’ve worked hard to examine each one through the viewpoints of all my constituents, not just those who share my position.
While we may not have agreed on every issue, I’ve always taken the job very seriously and tried my hardest, and I sincerely hope I represented you well.
Thank you again for your support during the past fourteen years. It has been a pleasure serving you, getting to know you, and representing you in the best way I could.