Two more DFL legislators announce retirements

Two more incumbent Minnesota legislators have announced they won’t run for reelection next year.

Jean Wagenius
Jean Wagenius
Courtesy of MN House

Longtime state Rep. Jean Wagenius, DFL-Minneapolis, and freshman Rep. Hunter Cantrell, DFL-Savage, are the latest lawmakers to say they will step aside in 2020.

Wagenius was first elected to the Minnesota House in 1986. She is currently serving her 17th two-year term.

Wagenius chairs the House Energy and Climate Finance and Policy Committee. Two other Democrats had already filed to run for her District 63B seat.

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“I have been on the cutting edge of so many issues during my career and have championed clean air and clean water even when those issues were on the legislature’s back burner,” Wagenius said. “Now, thanks to Minnesotans who voted in 2018, there is a new and larger group of legislators who are already effective leaders for clean air and water and combating climate change.”

Cantrell was elected in 2018 to the District 56A seat that had previously been in Republican hands. He serves on capital investment, health and human services, judiciary and civil law committees.

Freshman DFL Rep. Hunter Cantrell speaks to anti-gun violence activists
Freshman DFL Rep. Hunter Cantrell speaks to anti-gun violence activists before entering the House chamber inside the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn. on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019.
Evan Frost | MPR News

“After a great deal of consideration, I have decided that now is an appropriate time to complete my bachelor’s degree, which was put on hold when I was diagnosed with cancer in 2017,” Cantrell said.

State Sen. Scott Jensen, R-Chaska, Rep. Alice Mann, DFL-Lakeville, and Rep. Tim Mahoney, DFL-St. Paul, had earlier announced they would not seek reelection next year.

Jensen and Mann are both physicians who are serving their first terms in the Legislature. Mahoney is an 11-term representative who chairs the House Jobs and Economic Development Finance Division.