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DFL state Sen. Dick Cohen announces he will not run for reelection

State Sen. Dick Cohen, DFL-St. Paul Photo: Minnesota Senate
State Sen. Dick Cohen, DFL-St. Paul

Updated: November 17, 2019 09:02 PM

State Sen. Dick Cohen, who represents a wide swath of St. Paul, announced in a statement Sunday he would not be seeking reelection in 2020.

The DFL senator for District 64 cited "significant and pressing family issues" and a "once in a lifetime business opportunity" in his choice to step down at the end of his term.

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"This opportunity requires some immediate work on my part and could involve some extensive out of state travel, with some of it during the 2021 legislative session," he said.

Cohen has been a Minnesota legislator since 1977, when he was elected as a state representative. He has served as a senator since 1987.

"It has been the honor of a lifetime to be able to represent the district in which I have lived all of my life," Cohen said, "You have given me opportunities that I never expected to have."

Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said in a statement that Cohen's "expertise in state budget issues is irreplaceable and his insight will be sorely missed."

"He has represented his community with great honor and his distinguished service has made Minnesota a better place. I look forward to working with Sen. Cohen next session and wish him and his family the very best," Bakk said.

Erin Cohen, a fellow DFLer who announced in October she was running against Cohen for the 64th District seat, issued a statement Sunday in which she said she was surprised the senator was dropping his 2020 campaign.

"Sen. Cohen was not just a longtime legislator, he was a leader in the caucus and senate, and he worked to mentor many who serve there now," she said. "While we have been competitors, we’ve also been allies and partners — I’ve seen his work first hand and I know that he will continue to be a force in our politics and public policy for years to come."

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