Former St. Paul Police Chief Harrington won’t seek re-election to state Senate

State Sen. John Harrington, who couldn’t secure the DFL endorsement for a reelection bid, has decided he won’t run for a second term, after all.

Harrington, a former St. Paul police chief, was elected to the District 67 seat in 2010, but in March was challenged at the party convention and didn’t get the 60 percent support needed for endorsement.

Now, he’s told the Pioneer Press that his frustration with the partisan politics in the Legislature has led him to drop his re-election bid.

Harrington told the paper Monday:

“It was frustrating being in the situation where you could make all the right arguments, and it was seemingly going into a vacuum, and you couldn’t change the hearts and minds because of the way the Legislature is divided.”

He cited as examples Voter ID, which is going to voters in November as a constitutional amendment, and the self-defense bill vetoed by Gov. Mark Dayton.

“I did not have the passion for it the way it deserves,” he told the paper. “I don’t really feel like we made the kind of significant change the community and state needed.”

Former St. Paul City Council Member Tom Dimond and Foung Hawj, a self-employed multimedia producer, challenged Harrington for the party endorsement in March; on the final ballot Harrington had 46 percent, Dimond 40 and Hawj none.

Hawj has already filed to run for the seat; other candidates have until June 5 to file.

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