Minnesota Sen. Eken to retire after 20 years in Legislature

A Minnesota state senator has announced plans to retire at the end of the year.

Sen. Kent Eken (DFL-Audubon) announced Thursday that, after 20 years, this will be his final year in the Minnesota Legislature.

Eken was first elected to the Senate in 2012 but served in the House for the 10 years before his move to the Senate.

The senator said his decision to retire was based on many factors, including a desire to return to teaching and the fact that redistricting removed his home county from the new senate district.

“I step away from this work with deep gratitude to my family, supporters and constituents for the privilege of serving in the Minnesota Legislature for the past twenty years,” Eken said in a statement. “Not a day has gone by in which I’ve not been humbled by the trust you have given me to be your voice at the State Capitol. While I will miss the work and my Senate colleagues, it’s time to step away from the legislature and into the next chapter of my life.”

“It’s now time for a new voice to carry on the work for the things that matter to Greater Minnesotans and that still need attention, including permanent property tax relief, flood mitigation, and making sure residents have access to great public schools and high-quality healthcare and long-term care,” he added.

Eken is the latest state lawmaker to announce their retirement at the end of the year.

So far, 32 lawmakers – 16 House members and 16 Senators – have announced they plan to retire at the end of the 2021-2022 biennium. Of the House members, 7 are Republicans and 9 are DFL members. Meanwhile, there are 7 Senate DFL members retiring, 7 are Republican and 2 are Independent.

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