Morrie Lanning retires

From MPR’s Dan Gunderson…

State Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, is announcing his retirement this morning. Lanning says after prayerful consideration he decided not to seek re-election to a sixth term. Lanning says he looks forward to spending more time with family and friends.

Lanning authored the Vikings stadium bill that was enacted into law this year. He served five terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives. He was mayor of Moorhead for 21 years before he was elected to the state legislature.

Lanning’s decision comes less than a week before filings close.

GOP legislative leaders said they expected Lanning to run for reelection. Democrats say they have a shot at winning the open seat.

Play the audio below to hear Lanning’s interview on All Things Considered Thursday.

Update: GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers issued this statement on Lanning’s retirement:

“Representative Lanning has served his community and our state with great class, and he is a true statesman. I’ve had the privilege of knowing Morrie since before either of us came to St. Paul. His dedication to public service and the honorable way he goes about working with his colleagues are second to none. We will miss having him as a legislator. I wish him well as a colleague and a friend.”

Lanning is the 28th member of the Minnesota House to announce their retirement.

Here’s the list of House retirements:

Democrats not running again:

Rep. Marion Greene, DFL-Minneapolis

Rep. Bobby Joe Champion, DFL-Minneapolis (running for Minnesota Senate)

Rep. Kate Knuth, DFL-New Brighton

Rep. Denise Dittrich, DFL-Champlin

Rep. Larry Hosch, DFL-St. Joseph

Rep. Bev Scalze, DFL-Little Canada (running for Minnesota Senate)

Rep. Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley (running for Minnesota Senate)

Rep. Nora Slawik, DFL-Maplewood

Rep. Bill Hilty, DFL-Finlayson

Rep. Mindy Greiling, DFL-Roseville

Rep. Tom Rukavina, DFL-Virginia

Rep. Kory Kath, DFL-Owatonna

Rep. Sandra Peterson, DFL-New Hope

Republicans not running again:

Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove

Rep. Mike LeMieur, R-Little Falls

Rep. Pat Mazorol, R-Bloomington

Rep. Connie Doepke, R-Orono (running for Minnesota Senate)

Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake (running for Minnesota Senate)

Rep. Ron Shimanski, R-Silver Lake

Rep. Torrey Westrom, R-Elbow Lake (running for Minnesota Senate)

Rep. Kurt Bills, R-Rosemount (running for the U.S. Senate)

Rep. Brandon Peterson, R-Andover (running for Minnesota Senate)

Rep. Keith Downey, R-Edina (running for Minnesota Senate)

Rep. Mark Murdock, R-Perham

Rep. Mark Buesgens, R-Jordan

Rep. Bruce Anderson, R-Buffalo Township (running for Minnesota Senate)

Rep. Carol McFarlane, R-White Bear Lake

Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead

Note: Rep. Tom Tilberry, DFL-Fridley lost his party’s endorsement to former Rep. Connie Bernardy. Tilberry hasn’t said whether he’ll run in a primary.

  • Harold R

    Don’t be so sure… Morrie announced his “retirement” as mayor of Moorhead, citing “spending more time with family” as the reason, shortly before announcing his candidacy for the state legislature.

    Could it be ol’ Morrie is aiming for higher political office? Or maybe he’s been offered a spot on the Vikings payroll!

  • Eric Ferguson

    He dropped out days before the filing deadline, when his party had no reason to think he would do this, citing a desire to spend more time with family, and he made sure to say he prayed over it. Yeah, OK. Presumably some Republicans will scramble to throw campaigns together in time to file, and DFLers will necessarily be more concerned with the actual Republican candidate instead of the departing incumbent. Can’t help thinking there was a fun story in the background though.

  • http://www.cdclarkgold.com/houston/ Andrea Gold

    I’m glad Morrie dropped out. If he wants to spend more time with his family then go right ahead. I applaud him for making that decision with the help of prayer.