Senators Geoff Michel (R-Edina) and Doug Magnus (R-Slayton) joined the list of retiring Minnesota lawmakers this week. Michel, who was elected to the state Senate in 2002, says he hopes to spend more time with his family and to focus fulltime on his work at Securian Financial Group. He is currently Chair of the Senate Jobs and Economic Growth Committee and Vice Chair of the Senate Taxes Committee. Magnus, who was elected to the House in 2002 and to the Senate in 2010, says it is time for him to move on. He is the current Chair of the Senate Agriculture Budget and Policy Committee.

Michel and Magnus are the seventh and eighth senators to announce their retirements. The list also includes Al DeKruif (R-Madison Lake), Linda Higgins (DFL-Minneapolis), Gretchen Hoffman (R-Vergas), Amy Koch (R-Buffalo), Keith Langseth (DFL-Glyndon), and Gen Olson (R-Minnetrista). Sen. Gary Kubly (DFL-Granite Falls) passed away Friday evening after battling Lou Gehrig’s disease.  In order to allow members to attend Senator Kubly’s funeral, all House and Senate committee meetings for March 7 were cancelled.

Nine members of the House have announced their candidacy for Senate seats. They are Bruce Anderson (R-Buffalo Township), Bobby Joe Champion (DFL-Minneapolis), Connie Doepke (R-Orono), Kent Eken (DFL-Twin Valley), Mary Kiffmeyer (R-Big Lake), Lyle Koenen (DFL-Clara City), Branden Peterson (R-Andover), Bev Scalze (DFL-Little Canada), and Torrey Westrom (R-Elbow Lake). So far, four House members have announced their retirement: Mark Buesgens (R-Jordan), Mindy Greiling (DFL-Roseville), Kate Knuth (DFL-New Brighton), and Mark Murdock (R-Ottertail).