ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — One of the most powerful state lawmakers in Minnesota is leaving the Legislature.

Republican House Majority Leader Joyce Peppin announced Wednesday she would retire to take a private sector job. Peppin is a seven-term lawmaker from Rogers who had served as House Majority Leader since 2015.

Peppin says she never considered the Legislature a full-time career and is ready to return to the private sector. She is taking a job as Director of Government Affairs and General Counsel for the Minnesota Rural Electric Association.

House Majority leaders are integral legislative leaders who help run floor sessions and keep a majority’s party together on critical votes. Peppin’s departure adds an extra layer of intrigue to the 2018 election in which all 134 House members are on the ballot.

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