State Sen. Dave Thompson, a Republican from Lakeville, said he is not running for re-election this year, ending a six-year Senate career.
An attorney and former talk radio host, he used those skills as a practiced communicator in the upper chamber and emerged as a promising new recruit in the state GOP. He ran for governor in 2014, but did not win the nomination.
Thompson said he is moving to Charlotte, N.C., at the end of his term, where he will open a new office for Renters Warehouse. He is currently vice president and general counsel for the company.
"Serving in the Minnesota Senate has been an honor and a privilege," he said in a statement. "I was in awe the day I entered the Capitol to take my oath of office for the first time, and I have never taken for granted the faith and trust placed in me by my constituents."
Thompson first gained attention for his relentless criticism of increased taxes and spending, establishing himself as a leader among a new class of GOP legislators who became known for their "not a penny more" mantra. This group was at least part of the reason for the 2011 budget stalemate that led to the partial state government shutdown.
Thompson quickly rose to a Senate leadership position, a notable achievement for a relatively new legislator.
"Sen. Thompson has been a great presence to have at the Capitol and he will be missed," said Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington. "He has been a strong voice for conservatism in the state of Minnesota. During his time in office he has consistently put principles over politics, and I feel fortunate to have had him as my state senator."
J. Patrick Coolican