ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — State Sen. Amy Koch (COKE’) says she’s stepping down as Senate majority leader and won’t seek reelection next year.

Koch made the surprise announcement Thursday in a letter to fellow Republican senators and GOP staff. The Republican from Buffalo didn’t directly give a reason but wrote that the past year was “challenging, exciting and exhausting.”

Koch did not immediately respond to a message left on her cell phone.

As the top Senate Republican, Koch was a face of the party during last summer’s budget standoff with Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton that led to a government shutdown. She was new to leadership after recruiting a slate of GOP candidates who knocked off Democratic incumbents in 2010 and handed Republicans control of the Senate for the first time in decades.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (41)
  1. Murph says:

    Maybe she can’t stand the stench of her co conspirators in the legislature! Most NORMAL people can’t stand it either!

  2. Reality sucks says:

    There is a god. Wishbones, four leaf clovers, rainbows, horseshoes….whatever else is fancied to bring all good things to this planet—thank you for making this decision and bye bye.

  3. Jake says:

    Amy did a great job.

    1. Buzz Killington says:

      Yeah great job. I guess it’s admirable that she’s willing/able to read the writing on the wall. But she’s still no better than T-Paw. Once you’ve realized how badly you’ve irritated the people you represent and come to the conclusion you’re going to be destroyed in the next election, the only logical thing to do is throw in the towel. At least then it APPEARS you’re leaving on your own terms. If she’d done such a great job, she’d stick around. Wake up, Jake. Even Amy Koch knows she’s a horse-chit lawmaker.

      1. Jake says:

        Happy holidays, Buzz. I hope you’re good at what you do, because you are not likely making a living in political punditry. Amy would be re-elected by a huge margin. Nobody would credibly disagree.

        Based on her age and the age of her children, I cannot imagine she enjoyed giving 20 hour days for months on end serving a state full of vitriol-filled folks like Buzz Killinghoffer or any other clever name. There are a lot of people who believe that the power of government, while a force for good the majority of the time, has its limits and should be exercised with restraint.

        Amy was successful in holding the reins tightly, which forced our state to prioritize in a way that it has not been disciplined enough to do in the past decades. Even the governor’s office conceded that the restraint contributed to two-thirds of the unexpected surplus. We aren’t out of the woods yet, but we are on the path that leads out. Amy deserves a lot of credit for that.

        1. Boo that Legislator says:

          What does selling the tobacco settlement for half its value instead of raising taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans in an era of low taxes for the top income earners have to do with “holding the reins tightly?” That’s making a poor decision to pander to the “no taxes” ideal.

          1. Jake says:

            No, that’s called finding a compromise with a Governor who would rather kill the patient than give it less medication than he wants to. Those provisions were all supported by Governor Dayton, because he would not reduce the increase in funds directed to his political supporters in state government.

            The “no taxes” ideal, as you call it, is about not taking more out of citizen’s hands to simply permit the government to grow without scrutiny. We have to face the fact that public employees control the DFL, which means DFL governors and legislators are not free to critically evaluate state spending. They must always support increased government spending, or they will be replaced. Both sides are dug in.

  4. sabrina says:

    YAY!!! Early Christmas present for me!!

    1. A. Theist says:

      Your use of the word “Christmas” is offensive.

  5. Brian says:

    Yet another sad GOP’er comes to realize the party’s ship has struck the iceberg. Have fun joining the long list of clowns who have finally come to terms with the fact that more and more voters are getting sick of eating spoonful after spoonful of the thick, warm, brown, smelly goop you’re continually selling us under the name “chocolate pudding.” Say hello to Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Sarah Palin, and all of the others who have waived the white flag. Make room for Gingrich, Bachmann, and hopefully Zellers.

  6. smb says:

    Any one else smell a Senate run?

    1. Marcus says:

      If sh’es as smart as she thinks she is, she’ll stay home where she belongs and bake cookies.

    2. charles says:

      oh please run. There is NOOOOOO way she would take Amy in the election

    3. rick says:

      You cant say ” run” when you talk about AMY,she hasnt ran in many years,i am going to miss seeing her in them sexy dresses she wears

  7. Troy Linck says:

    We need competent leaders… She lead the bigotry brigade in her leadership of the discriminatory anti Marriage Equality amendment.She is a terrible person

  8. charles says:

    Read the letter she wrote about how the state now has a surplus. Funny, the last I heard, the State of Minnesota owes MILLIONS of dollars to our public schools! Hmm, that really doesn’t sound like a surplus of money to me Ms. Koch.

  9. dan says:

    I agree with both comments. Keep it up!

  10. Jake says:

    Just gotta love those uber-libs who post here, full of ‘love and understanding’, especially during the CHRISTMAS SEASON…..

    1. Orrest says:

      uhm, tour stamtment reflects what you chastise

      1. Orrest says:

        Jake, your comment, given the comments you have made in the past, is again reflective of yourself. Please have the staff at the institution you reside in cut your CCO access and increase your medication

        1. Jake says:

          Go pound sand. Most of the posters on this article are vile, mean, mud throwers who just can’t leave a person alone who voluntarily steps down from a leadership position. They think that they have to have the last word to try to make a stupid point.

          1. Citizen says:

            “Go pound sand” . . . whatever that means . . . Looks like the pot is calling the kettle black

  11. Adam Northenscold says:

    Some of you commenters should be ashamed, but I doubt you are capable.

  12. PLATOON says:

    You’re right Jake, it is the holidays and I regret using such abusive language. Buuuttt…I am happy with her decision.

  13. Dang! says:

    I didn’t know so many pre-teens read and commented with such great insight on politics. Perhaps your mommy’s should step down from their jobs to spend some quality time with “you”.

  14. frozenrunner says:

    I wonder what “think tank” or lobbying group she will get an eight figure (including what the two that come after the decimal point) salary from. Like for Norm, there is payback for being a good servant.

  15. Chortles says:

    Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. Lots of sarcasm here with comments about weight, appearance and all those things Americans find important, but no real substance in the comments.

    1. J Seinfeld says:

      I put farting noises below sarcasm, but otherwise your point is well made.

  16. Time for action says:

    Wow, are these republicans in Democrats clothes typing in these messages? I thought the republicans were the party of Hate and Vitriole and the democrats were the party of Peace and Love.

    1. H Humphrey says:

      Peace and Love must be purchased with ever increasing public salaries, benefits and pensions. That’s pretty transparent by now.

    2. barrister says:

      You hillbillies should learn how to spell!

      1. Bare Sister says:

        And capitalize.

        1. barrister says:

          hillbillies isnt capitalized

          1. Bare Sister says:

            Or punctuated, apparently.

      2. Time for action says:

        So you can not argue a point, so you atack the messenger. You are a prime example of why we have no CIVIL discourse in this country anymore.

  17. dphilips says:

    Its great to see Koch step down,but it looks like Jeff Michel will be her replacement, another wealthy out of touch with the working man politician from Edina. Just goes from bad to worse!!

        1. Realist says:

          I did. Didn’t you notice?

  18. james2 says:

    A bigot steps down and we all cheer. Yet, she will be replaced another bigot. The Republican party has nobody of integrity who would leave the moral questions up to the Creator rather than do His work for him, and poorly at that.

    MNs stand ready to fight each other thanks to her and others. Sad.

    Bye Bye. Try not to let the door hit you on the…

  19. Mayhem says:

    ahaahhahahahahahahhahah..she was schtooping someone on her staff…….

    apparently someone else had a “staff” she couldnt resist. ahahahahahahhah

    geez the GOP family is dysfunctional to say the least………….

    OBAMA in 0-13!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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