Former Minnesota House speaker Kurt Zellers will not seek re-election after 11 years in the House of Representatives in order to focus full-time on his gubernatorial campaign.
Zellers, R-Maple Grove, a six-term veteran who is running for governor, was first elected in 2003. He represents District 34B.
“I’m proud of the important legislation I passed over the past six terms benefitting the residents of Maple Grove and Osseo, as well as the state of Minnesota.” Zellers said in a statement.
Zellers, 44, served as Speaker of the House during the 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions—only the third Republican to serve the role.
During his six terms, Zellers enacted legislation to impose life sentences for violent offenders following the murder of University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin and passed legislation to address the growing need for adolescent mental health treatment.
Zellers’ gubernatorial campaign has raised the most money over the past six months, garnering $403,000 from more than 4,000 donors.
Zellers and his wife Kimberly, a public school teacher, have two children, Reagan, 9, and Will, 7.
A Duluth native who just barely lost Virginia's GOP gubernatorial primary said that politicians have not gone far enough in condemning the left for violence during a rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville. "I think that the left is going to try to use this as an excuse to crack down on conservative free speech," said Corey Stewart. "I think they're going to try to use this as an excuse to remove more historical monuments."