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Rep. Hamilton to seek re-election in 2018

District 22B Rep. Rod Hamilton will seek his eighth term in the Minnesota House. (Maureen McMullen / Forum News Service)

WORTHINGTON — District 22B Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, will seek his eighth consecutive term this November.

Hamilton will officially file for the House seat on Friday, he told The Globe Thursday.

An employee at Christensen Farms and a multiple sclerosis patient for two decades, Hamilton has long focused on supporting Minnesota farmers, protecting those with disabilities and embracing immigrants.

Hamilton was named chairman of the House Agriculture Finance Committee in 2016 and was removed from the post in April, following allegations of sexual assault. Emily Schlecht, a 23-year-old advocate at a sexual violence center in Bemidji, accused Hamilton of “unwanted touching” while staying at his St. Paul apartment through a snowstorm.

Hamilton — who often fought for bills to support those impacted by domestic and sexual violence — denied the allegations, saying his actions were misinterpreted as he intended to “offer comfort and compassion to a person who was going through a difficult time.”

In early May, the House hired two attorneys to investigate whether Hamilton violated the chamber’s new policy against harassment.

Hamilton won re-election with nearly 70 percent of the vote in 2016.

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