DFL Rep. Mary Ellen Otremba has always been a quiet member of the Minnesota House. She rarely spoke on the House floor and appeared shy around reporters. So it’s no surprise that she decided to announce her retirement through a press release than in a retirement speech on the last night of session. Today, Otremba released a statement saying she’s retiring:
“It has been an incredible privilege to serve the citizens of District 11B in the Minnesota House of Representatives. There is no greater honor in a democracy than to be selected by one’s fellow citizens to represent them in the halls of government. I will always be grateful for the years I’ve had to serve in our beautiful Capitol, working to enhance the quality of life for all Minnesotans.”
“Public service has been a part of my life, even before I came to the Legislature. In fact, it was my dad who brought me to my first precinct caucus. Since that day, I’ve never stopped working to shine a light on the wonderful things than make Greater Minnesotas quality of life so special. I will continue to advocate for the issues that matter most to rural Minnesotans – agriculture, the environment and conservation, health care, quality education and a firm commitment to protecting life from conception until natural death.
“Now I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family, especially with my two grandbabies. I’m also looking forward to having more time with all of the friends Ive made over the years who continue to be such a big part of my life. And I might even do a little sewing, too.”
“I cannot say ‘Thank You’ often enough to the voters of Todd and Douglas for giving me and my beloved husband Ken the opportunity to be their voice in the Minnesota House. It has been a blessing and a gift.”
Otremba was first elected to the Minnesota House in 1997. She won a special election after the death of her husband, Representative Ken Otremba. House DFLers say her win was the first special election victory by a DFLer in Minnesota history.
Republicans have long targeted Otremba suggesting that she was vulnerable in past election cycles but voters kept sending her back to St. Paul. It could be a prime pickup for the GOP since John McCain and Norm Coleman won the district handily.
Otremba is the 22nd member of the Legislature to retire. There are 14 House retirements and 8 retirements in the Minnesota Senate.
Here’s the full list
Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud
Mee Moua, DFL-St.Paul
Debbie Johnson, R-Ham Lake
Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing
Steve Dille, R-Dassel
Pat Pariseau, R-Farmington
Jim Vickerman, DFL-Tracy
Dennis Frederickson, R-New Ulm
Karla Bigham, DFL-Cottage Grove
Laura Brod, R-New Prague
Randy Demmer, R-Hayfield
Rob Eastland, R-Isanti
Tom Emmer, R-Delano
Larry Haws, DFL-St. Cloud
Jeremy Kalin, DFL-North Branch
Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis
Paul Kohls, R-Victoria
Doug Magnus, R-Slayton
Mary Ellen Otremba, DFL-Long Prairie
Marty Seifert, R-Marshall
Dan Severson, R-Sauk Rapids
Cy Thao, DFL-St. Paul