Rep. Jim Knoblach (R-St. Cloud) is ending his re-election campaign effective immediately.
The decision comes after a Minnesota Public Radio report Friday indicating it planned to publish detailed accusations from his now-adult daughter of inappropriate behavior by Knoblach.
“Our daughter has been estranged from our family for some time. In late 2016 she made some extremely hurtful and untrue accusations on a Facebook post, which was briefly put up and then taken down. These accusations were fully investigated by Sherburne County, dismissed, and the case closed in April 2017.
“I appreciate my wife, my son, our parents and the rest of my family standing with me in the face of these accusations. Last week I learned my daughter had contacted Minnesota Public Radio seven months ago, and that MPR was preparing a story on her allegations. I love my children more than anything, and would never do anything to hurt them. Her allegations are false. I and other family members have made repeated attempts to reconcile with her in recent years, but she has refused.
“I could fight on for another six weeks to defend my reputation while running for re-election. But this would entail subjecting my wife, son, and elderly parents, as well as my daughter, to six weeks of extreme stress and scrutiny. I’m also not willing to spend six weeks fighting with my daughter in the media. As a result, I feel I have no choice but to effectively end my campaign today so that I can work towards healing my family.
“It has been the greatest honor of my life to represent my hometown in the Legislature. I want to thank my many supporters for their years of support. I have done the best I can to represent my district in Saint Paul, and will continue to contribute in other ways. I will now complete the term voters elected me to serve and help constituents who contact me every day.
“As indescribably hurtful as these circumstances are, my wife and I love our daughter, and we look forward to the day when we can somehow again be a happy family.”
Now in his eighth term (non-consecutive), Knoblach chairs the powerful House Ways and Means Committee and serves on the House Taxes Committee.