By Rachel E. Stassen-Berger
House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, a Minneapolis Democrat running for governor, won't be coming back to the Minnesota House for the 2011 session. She will not run for re-election to the House should she not win the endorsement for governor, she said Monday.
She said she decided it was important for voters to know what job she wants and she wants "to be the governor of Minnesota."
Kelliher, who has been in the House since 1998, said she made the decision after this year's legislative session and has talked to activists about it.
"I haven't been keeping it a secret," she said but there haven't been media reports about it. She said she isn't yet backing anyone to replace her in the House seat and expects a "very active campaign."
So far, Marion Greene, who served as Kelliher's 2006 campaign manager, has filed for seat in the heavily Democratic district. Greene already has a slender campaign Web site up.
Kelliher said she doesn't plan on stepping down as House speaker but added, "I won't be the speaker in 2011."
Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner, another Democrat running for governor, has also said she won't run for re-election.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, a Democrat who is considering a run for governor, is running for re-election this year. Should he win that race and run but not win the governor's race, he'd still be in the mayor's office.
All the legislators in the race would have to decide by next summer whether to run for re-election to their legislative seats. Current legislators in the race include:
Democrats: state Sens. Tom Bakk and John Marty, state Reps. Tom Rukavina and Paul Thissen;
Republicans: state Sens. David Hann and Michael Jungbauer, state Reps. Tom Emmer, Marty Seifert and Paul Kohls.
Rukavina and Kohls both said they hadn't decided whether to run for re-election should their parties not endorse them.
"I intend to win the endorsement," said Rukavina. Should he not win, he said he'd reassess.
"I have not made a decision yet," on the possibility of re-election, said Kohls.
(We will update as we check in with the other candidates.)
Incumbent lawmakers are helped in delaying their decisions by the earliness of both parties' state endorsing conventions. Both are in April next year, which could give locals plenty of time before Secretary of State filings to pick legislative replacements or endorse incumbents.
The Secretary of State 2010 filing period, when candidates have to officially declare their candidacies, is slated to start around June 1 and last until June 15, should the state not move up its primary date to August. If the state moves the primary date, the filings would run from about May 18 to June 1.