Geoff Michel not running for reelection

Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina, says he’s not seeking reelection. Michel, who has served ten years in the Minnesota Senate, said he couldn’t commit to serving another four years. He said his family obligations are taking greater importance.

“I have four daughters under the age of 16,” Michel said. “I haven’t been around much over the last ten years. I want to be better to my family.”

Michel said he started thinking about his decision last summer when the state government shut down. His announcement comes just months after he revealed that he approached Senate personnel about an “inappropriate relationship” between then Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and an unnamed staffer. Koch resigned her leadership position and isn’t seeking reelection. Michel said the incident has nothing to do with his decision.

Michel said his greatest accomplishments were working with the University of Minnesota and helping the school build a new football stadium. He was also the author of the Abigail Taylor Pool Safety Act that required safer drains to prevent suction and drowning injuries in pools. He was also instrumental in helping Republicans take control of the Minnesota Senate for the first time in 38 years.

Michel is current chair of the Senate Jobs and Economic Growth Committee.

He says he’s confident Republicans will hold on to his seat. Democrats, however, see the seat as a possible pick-up.

Here’s the letter Michel sent out to delegates:

Ten years feels just about right.

Thank you for the honor of representing you in the Minnesota State Senate. This is the best senate district in the state and it is now even better with the new redistricting maps.

After ten years and three terms in the state senate, I will not be seeking reelection this November.

Annie, our four daughters and I have been discussing our options since the state shutdown last summer. I have also been speaking with my colleagues at Securian Financial Group. Both my family and my employer have been very patient, flexible, and supportive of me for the past ten years. It’s time for me to return their support and focus on a family future that is getting busier every year and may include four college tuitions.

We cannot commit to another four-year term. I also want to allow time for candidates to emerge before the endorsing convention at the end of the month.

I plan to finish strong and focus on the fundamental fiscal and economic concerns facing our state during the remaining months of this legislative session.

Thank you for all your support and kindness over the past decade.

Warmest regards,


  • Jamie

    Oh, that’s so nice and warm and fuzzy! How about addressing his failures? His voting to raise taxes on the poorest Minnesotans – stuff like that? Another MPR report based solely on a Republican-Marketing-Machine-generated news release, I’m guessing.

  • Help me out here, but wasn’t Senator Michel recent against-the-majority-GOP vote was regarding expanding gun rights ( the one that require out-of-state conceal and carry permits to be accepted by MN as well as other CASTLE Doctrine aspects) ?

    Has Senator Michel been prone to voting against his party on other issues … such that he would be too reasonable and independent for today’s MN-GOP ?

  • Bob Vandenakker

    Senator Michel used to be one of the Moderate Republicans, until he got a leadership position last year, when he went as far to the right as the rest of his party. He authored several medical marijuana bills, against his party’s platform, but when there’s a governor who might sign it, he’s since been a little shy about stepping out of line.

    Frankly, I’m glad he’s stepping down. After remaining silent about his vote to outlaw certain kinds of love between consenting adults, and then hiding the adultery of Sen. Amy Koch who he shared an office with, and then lying to us by saying he found out about her affair in December when he was told about it by her staff in September, I don’t think he really deserved another term. He’d have a hard enough time winning as it is this year with everything he helped engineer like the state shutdown.

  • Jim Bendtsen

    Jamie: Nothing you mentioned is a failure. That’s just a standard leftist marketing machine talking point regurgitated by you. Voting against the GOP gun rights bill is a huge failure and not at all reasonable. The state shutdown was without doubt the deliberate creation of the unions and extremist left in MN. It’s such a pity their hypocrisy and lies were exposed by an email trail, wasn’t it?

  • Jamie

    Where’s your evidence of this preposterousness?

    It’s ridiculous to say that the shut-down was the creation of the unions and “extremist left.” Public service union members were hurt to the tune of 65 million bucks during the shut-down. Republicans are responsible for the shut-down because of their intransigence and insistence upon protecting their wealthy friends.

    I mentioned only one of Michel’s failures, as an example. And it’s not a talking point. In fact, I think I’m the only one who ever mentions it. Democrats don’t have much of a marketing machine. I wish they did.