ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — State Sen. Branden Petersen announced Monday he won’t run for a second term in 2016, adding to the list of Republicans who are opting out of re-election bids.
Petersen spent one term in the House representing the Andover area before winning a Senate seat in 2012. After wrestling with running again next year for the last year, Petersen said he needs to step away to focus on work and spending time with his wife and three children.
“After going through another session, it became pretty clear to me that I can’t be the dad and the husband that I want to be and I can’t make the living that I want to make at the Legislature,” he said.
Petersen will return to work at a car dealership as a salesman. But at just 29, he’s not ruling out a return to politics in the future.
He was one of just five Republicans — and the only GOP senator — who voted to legalize gay marriage in 2013. Petersen expected a challenge from fellow Republicans and was convinced he could win, he said. However, he said that wasn’t a major factor in his decision.
Petersen joins fellow GOP Sens. Julianne Ortman and Dave Brown in opting not to run in 2016.
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