Cy Thao won’t run again

DFL state Rep. Cy Thao has decided not to seek a fifth term in the Minnesota House, two people familiar with his plans confirmed to MPR News. The individuals, who work for the Minnesota House, requested anonymity because they didn’t want to get ahead of Thao’s written statement which is expect to be released in the morning. Thao also started contacting delegates and supporters this evening.

The sources say Thao made his decision because of “business opportunities” and a recent fine by the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board did not play a factor in his decision. Thao was ordered to pay the state more than $4700 in fines over irregularities in his 2006 and 2008 campaign finances.

Thao first ran for office in 2000 as a member of the Independence Party. A campaign ad he ran in that unsuccessful campaign is one of the funniest ads I’ve seen.

House District 65A is dominated by DFLers so expect several Democrats to jump into the race. Democrat Jeremiah Ellis has already filed to run.

Update: Another DFL candidate, Tony Schmitz, is also running. He has a website touting his candidacy.