ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP/WCCO) — Democratic Sen. Jim Metzen, whose 42 years in the Legislature make him one of Minnesota’s longest-serving state lawmakers, said Saturday that he won’t seek re-election.

Metzen said in September that he was being treated for a recurrence of lung cancer.

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“I have always been pragmatic in my approach at the Legislature,” Metzen said in a statement Saturday. “When my term is completed it is my hope that my constituents believe I represented them well and those that came in contact with me at the Capitol believe I was fair. No matter if you were a Democrat or Republican, I tried to form friendships and alliances with people.”

Metzen was first elected to the House of Representatives as a 31-year-old and served six consecutive terms. He was then elected to the Senate in 1986 and was re-elected eight times.

More than 300 current and former elected officials honored Metzen at a reception last month.

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During his time in the Capitol, he served as president of the Senate and second-in-line to the governor. He was chairman of several committees including banking, government operations, jobs, ethics, employee relations and commerce.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that Metzen’s health issues had sapped his energy. In a hearing last week, Metzen voted for something he meant to vote against. Republican committee members denied him a chance to re-take the vote. Still, Metzen said last week that he was “doing all right.” He said he started a second round of chemotherapy in December.

School board member Matt Klein, a Democrat, had already announced that he would run for Matzen’s seat, regardless of whether Metzen sought another term.

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