ST. PAUL (WCCO) — Rep. Tom Rukavina has been a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, serving 13 terms since 1986. Now, he is retiring to spend more time with his granddaughter.

“I got a wonderful opportunity last fall, to take care of my first grandchild, I did day care four days a week, six to eight hours a day, and I got smitten, and I just want to be with her,” Rukavina said.

Rukavina said the legislature has changed a lot since he first got there.

“You know when I first got there in 1987, the range was going through some huge financial difficulties, as was a lot of agricultural part of the state as well,” he said.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Susie Jones Reports

Rudy Perpich was Governor then, and he said people still believed that government can do good things for people.

“You could sit across the isle of a person that had different philosophy and it seemed like it wasn’t so divisive like it is today,” he said.

He pointed to the “gift ban,” as a turning point in strained relations.

Rukavina said he is most proud of his work on the Iron Range. He got a bill passed back in the mid-90s with Gov. Arne Carlson, that said, when a mine closes state mandates, that it had so stay open for a couple of years.

He said he will miss the work, but happy to be spending time with his family.


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