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Rep. Magnus to retire from Minnesota House, will run for Senate

Don Davis/State Capitol Bureau Rep. Doug Magnus of Slayton found a rare smile during last month's House debate on a bill that cuts state spending, including local government aid. He offered a much-discussed amendment to take money away from Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth, and send it to smaller rural communities.

ST. PAUL -- Dist. 22A Rep. Doug Magnus, R-Slayton, announced Tuesday that he will not seek a fifth two-year term in the Minnesota House and will instead seek election to the Minnesota Senate in District 22.

Magnus will seek the seat being vacated by Jim Vickerman, DFL-Tracy, who is retiring after serving in the Minnesota Senate since 1987. Vickerman's nephew Kevin Vickerman, a Murray County commissioner and also a Tracy Democrat, has also announced his intention to seek the seat.

District 22 consists of Rock, Pipestone, Murray, Nobles, Jackson, and Cottonwood counties. Magnus' House term will expire prior to the start of the 2011 Legislative Session.

"Serving as the voice for the southwestern corner of Minnesota in the House of Representatives has truly been an honor," Magnus said in a press release. "But it's time for a new voice to represent our residents in the Minnesota Senate, and I hope to be their advocate."

Magnus has championed dozens of laws over the past eight years that have improved the lives of rural Minnesotans and their communities. He is known for carrying Minnesota's Job Opportunity Building Zones (JOBZ) law, which helped revitalize the economy by offering companies tax incentives if they relocated their business to rural Minnesota and offered our employees good paying jobs, during his initial term in the House. Magnus' press release stated JOBZ "has directly or indirectly created 18,600 jobs in rural Minnesota" to date.

Magnus had also been an advocate for positioning Minnesota as a global leader in renewable energy. He currently serves on the Minnesota House Agriculture, Rural Economies, and Veterans Affairs Finance Division, Energy Finance and Policy Division, Veterans Affairs Division, Transportation Policy and Finance Division, and Rules and Legislative Administration Committee. He also serves on the Legislative Energy Commission and the Next Gen Energy Board, and previously served on the Governor's Biosciences Council and the Environment Quality Board.

Prior to his election to the Minnesota House in 2002, Magnus served for 14 years on the Soybean Research and Promotion Council, spending three years as its chairman, and is a past commander of the Donald Ewy American Legion Post in Avoca. He was also appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to the United Soybean Board, and for three years served as the International Marketing chairman, leading more than 30 trade missions to more than 40 countries.

Magnus, a Vietnam veteran, lives in rural Slayton with his wife, Brenda. They have two adult children.