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Ellen Anderson named to PUC, will resign Senate seat

Veteran state Sen. Ellen Anderson was named chair of the state Public Utilities Commission today by Gov. Mark Dayton.
Anderson will resign her legislative seat to take the full-time job with the PUC.

Veteran state Sen. Ellen Anderson was named chair of the state Public Utilities Commission today by Gov. Mark Dayton.

Anderson will resign her legislative seat to take the full-time job with the PUC. She was first elected in 1992 and is in her sixth term. She handily won re-election last year with 76 percent of the vote in the heavily DFL district.

A special election will be held to fill her seat; a primary is scheduled for March 29, with the special election on April 12. So, her successor will get to take part in the last month or so of legislative battling, as the session winds down in May.

Anderson’s husband, former state Rep. Andy Dawkins, told Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Strib that he won’t run for his wife’s seat but misses the Capitol and wouldn’t mind returning.

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The PUC regulates the electricity, natural gas and telephone industries in the state. Anderson is now on the Senate Energy Utilities and Telecommunications Committee and previously chaired the Senate Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Budget Division.