MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Long-time Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat will leave his position on Nov. 7, two months before the end of his term.

Opat did not seek reelection for his District 1 position this year, and will soon start his own consulting practice, working initially with North Memorial Health.

He started working for the county in 1981 as a correctional officer. In 1992, he was elected to the Hennepin County Board, and has since been re-elected seven times. He was elected to the chair of the county board nine times.

Opat is known for designing Hennepin County’s public-private partnership with the Minnesota Twins which allowed for the creation of Target Field. He also prioritized initiatives to reduce teen pregnancies and improve roads and infrastructure in the county.

“Not for one day have I thought anything but that the county is a wonderful employer with truly dedicated employees,” said Opat. “I’m eternally grateful for the many talented leaders with whom I’ve had the chance to work over so many years.”