- Associated Press - Saturday, January 23, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Democratic Sen. Jim Metzen, whose 42 years in the Legislature make him one of Minnesota’s longest-serving state lawmakers, said Saturday that he won’t seek re-election.

Metzen said in September that he was being treated for a recurrence of lung cancer.

“I have always been pragmatic in my approach at the Legislature,” Metzen said in a statement Saturday. “When my term is completed it is my hope that my constituents believe I represented them well and those that came in contact with me at the Capitol believe I was fair. No matter if you were a Democrat or Republican, I tried to form friendships and alliances with people.”

Metzen was first elected to the House of Representatives as a 31-year-old and served six consecutive terms. He was then elected to the Senate in 1986 and was re-elected eight times.

More than 300 current and former elected officials honored Metzen at a reception last month.

During his time in the Capitol, he served as president of the Senate and second-in-line to the governor. He was chairman of several committees including banking, government operations, jobs, ethics, employee relations and commerce.

Gov. Mark Dayton released a statement Saturday saying: “Jim is a very dedicated public servant and a wonderful man.”

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that Metzen’s health issues had sapped his energy. In a hearing last week, Metzen voted for something he meant to vote against. Republican committee members denied him a chance to re-take the vote. Still, Metzen said last week that he was “doing all right.” He said he started a second round of chemotherapy in December.

School board member Matt Klein, a Democrat, had already announced that he would run for Matzen’s seat, regardless of whether Metzen sought another term.

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