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Minnesota State Senator Tom Bakk announces retirement

After serving in the state legislature for nearly three decades, Sen. Bakk said he won't seek reelection and will retire at the end of the year.

COOK, Minn. — With another election season on the horizon, Minnesota State Senator Tom Bakk says he's ready to move on from politics.

Bakk, who represents Minnesota's Senate District 3 as an Independent, announced March 17 that he will not seek reelection for another term and will retire at the end of the year.

“Representing the people of the Arrowhead region has been one of the greatest rewards of my life, made possible by the support and patience of my family,” Bakk said in a written statement. “My heartfelt thanks to my constituents for entrusting me to be their voice at the Capitol for so many years. I have always tried to do my best for the people I’ve served even if it was not always easy or popular with my own political party. The friendships and the memories I have made will carry with me forever.”

Bakk was first elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1994, where he served four terms as a member of the DFL party. In 2002 Bakk was elected to the state Senate where he served as Majority Leader from 2013-2016 and Minority Leader from 2011-2012 and 2017-2020.

Last year, Bakk left the DFL Caucus to become an Independent and is currently is the Chair of the Senate Capital Investment Committee.

“There is still a lot more to be done but it is time for me to pass the torch. I’m certain there are new inspiring leaders waiting in the wings. For 28 years it has been my time to serve but now it is finally my time to retire," his statement read.

Bakk, who has four children and eight grandchildren, lives on Lake Vermillion with his wife Laura. The senator said he expects to enjoy more sports, like hockey, baseball and basketball, with his family in the future.

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