Assistant Minority Leader Melisa López Franzen says she will run for the minority leader position.By WCCO-TV Staff

Originally published on Sept. 2, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – State Sen. Susan Kent announced Thursday that she will not be seeking re-election in 2022 and will be stepping down from her role as senate minority leader.

Kent, D-Woodbury, has served in the state Senate for 10 years, but said COVID-19 has impacted her family life, and said it’s “time to make changes” and “put my family first.”

“It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve my community in the Minnesota Senate for almost 10 years now,” Kent said. “I’ve been inspired by the dedicated community members, advocates and colleagues I’ve had the privilege of working with who are committed to building a better Minnesota for everyone.”

Sen. Susan Kent (credit: CBS)

Kent said that one of the accomplishments she is most proud of is the investment into Minnesota’s education budget, and advancement of schools.

She added that she is committed to supporting the new DFL leader in the Senate and ensure a smooth leadership transition.

The announcement came a day after Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said he was stepping down from his leadership role. Though he did not explicitly elaborate on what the next chapter in his political career would be, he told reporters earlier this year that he was considering running for governor in November of 2022.

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In the meantime, the Senate Republicans elected Deputy Leader Mark Johnson as the interim leader, until an election can be held in the coming weeks.

On Friday morning, Assistant Minority Leader Melisa López Franzen, who serves the southwestern suburbs of the metro, announced that she would run for the minority leader position.

“I look forward to making the case to lead our caucus, and to ensure we win a DFL Senate Majority in 2022,” she wrote on Twitter.

The DFL caucus will meet on Sept. 13 to elect a new minority leader.