Sen. Jim Metzen, one of the Legislature’s longest-serving members, said Saturday that his ninth and current term will be his last.

Metzen, DFL-South St. Paul, disclosed last year that he was receiving treatment for lung cancer. His legislative tenure has spanned 42 years: Metzen was elected to the Senate in 1986 after first serving six straight terms in the House. Metzen is chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee and is a former Senate president.

“I have always been pragmatic in my approach at the Legislature. “When my term is completed, it is my hope that my constituents believe I represented them well and those that came in contact with me at the Capitol believe I was fair,” Metzen wrote in a prepared statement. “No matter if you were a Democrat or Republican, I tried to form friendships and alliances with people.”

Gov. Mark Dayton released a statement Saturday calling Metzen “a very dedicated public servant and a wonderful man.”

Metzen’s office said friends and elected officials like Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty spoke at a reception honoring Metzen in his hometown last month.

Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, reacted to Saturday’s news with a statement saluting Metzen for his years of community service. Hansen thanked Metzen for serving as chief architect of a grant program that helps upgrade ice arenas and for securing funding for the Kaposia Landing, a reclaimed former landfill site on the banks of the Mississippi River in South St. Paul.

 

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