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State Rep. Huntley, stepping down after 22 years, honored by state officials and constituents

Huntley, the House Health Finance chair, announced in December that he won’t seek a 12th term.

Veteran state Rep. Thomas Huntley, the House Health Finance chair who isn’t seeking re-election to a 12th term, was honored by top state officials and Duluth constituents today.

An honorary proclamation presented by Lt. Gov.  Yvonne Prettner Solon said:

“During his years of public service, Representative Huntley utilized his knowledge and skills as well as compassion and empathy to understand the needs of others and bring people together. Duluth, the Arrowhead, and the state of Minnesota have greatly benefited from his work and leadership in public service.”

Huntley announced in December that he wouldn’t seek re-election this year. He was involved with many health reform bills during his 22-year tenure, and has said he will stay active in the field, with an emphasis on primary care and rural access issues.

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State House Speaker Paul Thissen said:

“Tom Huntley will be remembered as one of the giants of the Minnesota State Legislature. From his role in the creation of MinnesotaCare to the Freedom to Breathe Act to his work protecting the Great Lakes to the groundbreaking Minnesota health care reform law in 2008, Tom leaves a lasting legacy. And even in the most challenging budget times, he never lost sight of the fact that a fundamental job of government is to make sure that people who work hard and play by the rules are not left behind.”

More background on Huntley from the House:

Rep. Huntley is a professor emeritus of biochemistry, molecular biology, and chemistry at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine at Duluth and has a longstanding interest in primary care and rural health care. He has held academic positions at the University of Connecticut Medical School and was on the faculty at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine at Duluth from 1973 until his retirement in 2007. He has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Iowa State University.

Prior to being elected to the Legislature, Huntley served on the Minnesota Great Lakes Commission, on the Duluth City Council from 1984 to 1988 and as a commissioner on the Minnesota Seaway Port Authority of Duluth from 1988 to 1993. He was the president of the Seaway Port Authority from 1990-1992.