Senator Doug Magnus set a time limit for himself.
“I really firmly believe that a person should not stay too long,” Magnus said earlier this month. “That’s up to each individual person. To me, I said to myself somewhere around that 10-year range for public service is all I felt a person should do. Eight, 10 or 12 years, however your terms shake out and then you should move on and then have others step up and do it.”
So when he reached his limit, Magnus stepped away. He will not run for re-election this fall.
“I really do believe in the citizen legislature and the citizen government and that was also on my mind,” he said. “This term coming up would have been a four-year term for me and I was not willing to spend another four years doing this. That would have put me outside of my original thoughts. I know a person’s life goes through stages. I believe people should do some public service, I think that’s your duty as a citizen and however you do that is up to you.
“But I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have the citizens of southwest Minnesota vote for me five times to send me to represent them in St. Paul. I’ve been very blessed to have done that and have the support of my family. Just to experience the honor of walking into the Capitol every day and know that people have put a big responsibility on you to do what is best for the state and the district.”
Magnus had a hand in a lot of legislature, most recently in securing funding for the new Vikings stadium.
“Did I do everything right? I don’t claim to have,” Magnus said. “But I look back with no regrets and I look back and a lot of good things we did. I look back with the honor of representing people there.”
Next for Magnus is some quality time with his family — and his farm.
“The farm is calling and I’ve asked my family to give up a lot of things over the last 24 years I’ve been involved,” he said. “During those 24 years, I’ve asked my family to support me and my efforts and trying to help neighbors and friends. But now I have to get back to my family.”
With Magnus’ seat left empty, two candidates have stepped forward.
Bill Weber, from Luverne, and Alan Oberloh, from Worthington, have already filed to square off for the District 22 seat.
As the summer progresses and it is closer and closer to election day, it will be interesting to see how this race shapes up.
While I couldn’t predict a winner, I do know that the Daily Globe will be there every step of the way.
And personally, it’s a process I’m excited to be a part of.