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Rep. Otremba’s retirement makes 22 legislators leaving office

State Rep. Mary Ellen Otremba’s retirement from the Legislature this week makes 22 legislators who, for sure, won’t be back in their seats next session. Depending on voters’ moods in November, that number could be higher, although incumbents generally do quite well, as a whole.

Many of those leaving are seeking higher office.

Otremba’s husband, Ken, was a House member when he died in 1997; Mary Ellen Otremba won a special election to take his seat. Some think her Long Prairie-area district might be tough for DFLers to defend: Rachel Stassen-Berger notes in the Strib blog that the district went for Republican John McCain for president and Republican Norm Coleman for U.S. Senate in 2008.

The list of those giving up their seats announced so far:


  1. Sen. Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, running against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann 
  2. Sen. Steve Dille, R-Dassel
  3. Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing
  4. Sen. Pat Pariseau, R-Farmington
  5. Sen. Jim Vickerman, DFL-Tracy
  6. Sen. Dennis Frederickson, R-New Ulm
  7. Sen. Mee Moua, DFL-St. Paul
  8. Sen. Debbie Johnson, R-Ham Lake


  1. House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, running for governor
  2. Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Delano, running for governor
  3. Rep. Randy Demmer, R-Hayfield, running against Democratic U.S. Rep. Tim Walz
  4. Rep. Dan Severson, R-Sauk Rapids, running for secretary of state
  5. Rep. Doug Magnus, R-Slayton, running for Vickerman’s seat in the Senate
  6. Rep. Marty Seifert, R-Marshall
  7. Rep. Karla Bingham, DFL-Cottage Grove
  8. Rep. Jeremy Kalin, DFL-North Branch
  9. Rep. Cy Thao, DFL-St. Paul
  10. Rep. Rob Eastlund, R-Cambridge
  11. Rep. Paul Kohls, R-Victoria
  12. Rep. Laura Brod, R-New Prague
  13. Rep. Mary Ellen Otremba, DFL-Long Prairie
  14. Rep. Larry Haws, DFL-St. Cloud

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