The chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee announced this morning that she’s not running for re-election. Sen. Claire Robling, R-Jordan, says she made the decision after thinking about it for the past year.
“Sixteen years in this position is long enough,” Robling said in a statement. “I find my enthusiasm for doing this job for another four years is waning. I think it’s time to let someone else step into this spot.”
Robling also said that she’s becoming more concerned that the Legislature has become more partisan over the years.
“I fear that statesmen are vanishing as partisanship deepens,” Robling said in a statement. “It is very difficult to pass common sense measures into law these days because special interest groups block or promote agendas that only benefit themselves.”
Robling was first elected in 1996 and didn’t face a serious challenge in the upcoming election. She has represented Scott County over the past ten years.
Robling is one of the most senior members in the Senate Republican Caucus. She’s also the 14th member of the Senate to announce that they’re not running in November (10 Republicans and four Democrats). A court panel released a new set of political boundaries in February.
Update: Here’s an interview MPR’s Tom Crann did with Robling:
Here’s the list of retirements:
Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon
Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergas (opted to run for Congress in the 7th District but lost the endorsement to Lee Byberg)
Sen. Doug Magnus, R-Slayton
Sen. Al DeKruif, R-Madison Lake (announced retirement after he was paired with GOP Sen. Julie Rosen)
Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca (running for Congress in the 1st District)
Sen. Amy Koch, R-Buffalo
Sen. Michael Jungbauer, R-East Bethel(lost endorsement battle with GOP Sen. Michelle Benson)
Sen. Gen Olson, R-Minnetrista
Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina
Sen. Clair Robling, R-Jordan
Sen. Chris Gerlach, R-Apple Valley
Sen. Linda Higgins, DFL-Minneapolis
Sen. Ken Kelash, DFL-Minneapolis (lost endorsement battle to Michelle Wikilund)
Sen. Mary Jo McGuire, DFL-Falcon Heights (lost endorsement battle to DFL Sen. John Marty)