Rep. John Kriesel to step down after one termby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
Still in his first term, state Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, will not run for re-election.
Kriesel is among at least the 10 legislators to announce they will not seek re-election to the House, although some say they will run for state Senate seats.
Kriesel is a war veteran who lost his legs during a deployment to Iraq in 2006. He was known as an outspoken member of the Republican freshman class and made an impassioned floor speech last year urging his colleagues not to put a same sex marriage ban on the ballot this fall.
He was on the losing side of that debate, and one of only four Republicans who voted against that amendment last year, but Kriesel said that played no part in his decision. He cited obligations to his wife and family.
"From the time I was deployed to Iraq, to when I came back in the hospital. And then came back and went to college for a little bit. And you know, I've always stayed so busy. I ran for office after that," Kriesel said. "She has put her life and her goals, her career goals on hold, so I could chase my dreams. And I think its time for her to be able to do her thing."
He also said he wanted to spend time with his sons, 10 and 11 years old.
Kriesel does not rule out politics in the future.
"My family's first. We'll see down the road," Kriesel said. "I'm looking forward to blending back in and being a regular husband and father."