Branden Petersen to resign from Legislature

State Sen. Branden Petersen, R-Andover, announced today that he intends to resign from the Legislature in late October.

Petersen had already announced that he wouldn’t seek another term in 2016, but he said he’s becoming even more disconnected from the work.

He said resigning now, instead of serving out his term, will give his constituents a stronger voice at the Capitol.

“I just felt personally that somebody else who is 100 percent engaged in the issues, both with their personal life and their professional life, is probably better served to do the job,” he said.

Petersen was first elected to the Senate in 2010. He also served one term in the House prior to that. He’s best known for being the only Republican in the Senate to back a bill that legalized same-sex marriage in Minnesota.

Petersen said his decision to resign early had to do with his desire to spend more time with his family and focus on his job outside of the State Capitol.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press, which first broke the story of Petersen’s resignation, reports that Petersen was also facing fines for failing to file campaign finance reports.

Gov. Dayton will have to call a special election for Petersen’s replacement. Three Republicans have already filed to run as Petersen’s replacement in 2016.