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Kurt Bills returns to his classroom after U.S. Senate loss

The Republican Senate candidate was back teaching a high school economic class after his loss to Sen. Amy Klobuchar last week.

Minutes after news organizations started calling the Minnesota U.S. Senate race for incumbent Democrat Amy Klobuchar last week, Republican challenger Kurt Bills vowed to return to his high school classroom the next morning because, “Republicans don’t take days off.”

Bills was true to his word.

The Rosemount Town Pages caught up with Bills the week after his 35-point loss to Klobuchar and found him happy to be back in the classroom, teaching an Advanced Placement economics class, and not, for the moment, contemplating another run for office.

Bills had some complaints about the way the election progressed, primarily that Minnesota Republicans didn’t unite behind him, and he knocked the media for pushing the narrative that he was a long-shot challenger to a popular incumbent Senator. But for the time being, he said his focus is elsewhere:

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For Bills, the loss brings to an end, at least for now, a political career that progressed from newcomer city council candidate to Minnesota Representative to Senate candidate in the span of just four years. And for now, at least, that’s just fine with Bills. The Rosemount High School economics teacher never gave up his first hour AP class even during the thick of his campaign. On Friday morning, he was back at work lecturing his students on economic theory, and when the new trimester starts he’ll be back to a full teaching load.

In the meantime, Bills is spending time with his family and catching up on chores around the house. On Thursday afternoon, he was working on the furnace. He also has to put away all the outdoor equipment at the daycare he and his wife, Cindy, own. …

Bills hasn’t ruled out a future run for office, but he doesn’t have any immediate plans. He likes Anna Wills, who last week won the election for his House seat. He is happy being what he describes as a shooting star rather than a guiding light in Minnesota politics.

He sees a certain irony in the fact that, after a campaign in which economic issues were his focus, he is currently teaching his students about debt and the national deficit.

Still, he’s happy where he is.

“I love teaching,” he said. “I think it’s what I’m called to do.”

It’s been a much quieter week for Bills than for Klobuchar, who’s already had to bat back questions about a possible run for president in four years.

Devin Henry can be reached at