The chief sponsor of the successful Minnesota Vikings stadium bill, Republican state Rep. Morrie Lanning, who said just two weeks ago that he expected to the Capitol next year, announced to friends Wednesday and the public Thursday that he would not run for re-election.
Lanning, R-Moorhead, said he realized that he has spent nearly 40 years campaigning – for the Moorhead City Council, then Moorhead Mayor, then, state representative – and had had enough of being in “perpetual campaign mode.”
Republicans and Democrats said Thursday that his decision came as a surprise.
The five-term state representative said his decision was unrelated to finally getting a stadium bill passed and that he thought he would have been re-elected. Now, he said, he can spend more time with his six grandchildren and look for other opportunities.
“Nothing is pre-arranged,” he said.
Asked if he was interested in being appointed to the stadium commission, created for the new Vikings stadium, he said: "I would be open to considering something like that but I would need to know more about what would be expected."
Lanning, who was known as a head-down, no drama lawmaker who took on the tough state government and pension committees, said that a Republican candidate would announce for the seat Friday. Democrat Ben Lien, of Moorhead,is already running for the spot.