Longtime Rep. Denny McNamara hangs it up

State Rep. Denny McNamara, R-Hastings, said Wednesday that he will not seek reelection to the Minnesota House of Representatives this November.

McNamara represents Minnesota House District 54B, which consists of all or parts of the cities of Hastings, Cottage Grove, and Afton, as well as Denmark and Nininger townships. he was first elected in 2002 and chairs the Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee.

“It has been such a privilege to serve as state representative for the past fourteen years, but I am ready to spend more time with my wife, children and grandchildren,” McNamara said in a news release.

McNamara had initially filed to run for reelection, and announced his change of heart a day after filings for office closed. On the last day of filings Republican Tony Jurgens of Cottage Grove submitted paperwork to run for the House 54B seat.

It’s unclear whether McNamara knew of Jurgens’ plans, but the South Washington County Bulletin reported that McNamara described Jurgens as a “great guy.”

Don Slaten of Hastings is running as a Democrat for the seat.