DFL Rep. Jean Wagenius is retiring from the Minnesota Legislature next year after serving more than 30 years in elected office.
Wagenius announced her decision Tuesday. The Minneapolis Democrat, a longtime champion for environmental issues, said in a statement she feels ready to pass the torch to “a new and larger group of legislators who are already effective leaders for clean air and water and combating climate change.”
“I can now serve in a new way,” she added. “I will not stop being an advocate and a mentor.”
Wagenius, first elected in 1986, was one of a number of DFL incumbents already facing primary challengers ahead of next year’s election. Two other Democrats have filed to run in House District 63B, a metro seat that includes much of the Nokomis neighborhood, Fort Snelling and part of Richfield.
State Rep. Hunter Cantrell, DFL-Savage, also announced Tuesday that he will not run for re-election. The 24-year-old freshman Democrat, who flipped a Republican-held seat in 2018, said he planned to leave office to complete a bachelor’s degree he put on hold after he was diagnosed with cancer in 2017.
At least five members of the Legislature have decided not to run again next year. DFL Reps. Alice Mann and Tim Mahoney and GOP Sen. Scott Jensen previously announced their retirement plans.