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Gerlach announces retirement from state Senate

Chris Gerlach

State senator Chris Gerlach announced today that he will not seek endorsement for re-election at his local convention this weekend according to a press release from his office. Gerlach serves District 37, which includes Apple Valley and Rosemount.

The announcement closes a legislative career that spanned six years in the House of Representatives and eight in the Senate.

Gerlach said the change is prompted by his desire to spend more time

with his wife Shelli and children, ages 8 and 10, and to give more

attention to his small business.

"While serving in the Legislature is truly an honor and privilege,

the family and financial sacrifices are great," he said. "Now is the

time to reassess my personal priorities."

The press release states that during his career, Gerlach served in both the Republican minority and majority, and as an assistant majority leader and majority whip. He said he was most proud of the opportunity to serve as the chairman of Senate Commerce Committee.

"It has been a great platform in which to promote free-market economics while balancing consumer protections."

In 2010, as the lead minority party member on elections issues, Gerlach

was key to the successful bi-partisan efforts that produced a

wide-ranging package of election reforms including administration

procedures, absentee ballot reforms, an earlier primary election and

changes to campaign finance and reporting rules in the wake of the

Coleman-Franken recount of 2008.

Gerlach says he plans to remain active in his local community and in

Republican politics.