After a legislative career spanning two decades, State Senator Kent Eken (DFL- Audubon) announced today that he will not run for re-election to the Minnesota State Senate.
“I step away from this work with deep gratitude to my family, supporters and constituents for the privilege of serving in the Minnesota Legislature for the past twenty years,” said Eken. “Not a day has gone by in which I’ve not been humbled by the trust you have given me to be your voice at the State Capitol. While I will miss the work and my Senate colleagues, it’s time to step away from the legislature and into the next chapter of my life.”
Eken said that his decision was based on several factors, including his desire to return to teaching, and legislative redistricting which resulted in the removal of his home county, where he was born and raised, from the new senate district.
“The responsibility of representing the people from my home region has given me a true sense of purpose in life,” said Eken. “It is a wonderful gift you have given me and one I shall cherish all my days.”
First elected to the Minnesota House in 2002, Eken was re-elected four times before running for the Senate, where he served three terms. One of the Legislature’s leading voices for Greater Minnesota, he accumulated a lengthy list of accomplishments, and was recognized for his work on behalf of our schools, seniors, people with disabilities, agricultural concerns and economic development in Greater Minnesota. Just last week he was part of the final push to secure emergency funding to address the recent outbreak of avian flu and provide drought relief to farmers hardest hit by extreme drought last year.
“I am so grateful for the friendships I’ve made along this journey,” said Eken. “Helping people facing difficulties and challenges has been some of the most gratifying work of my time in public service.”
Eken concluded, “It’s now time for a new voice to carry on the work for the things that matter to Greater Minnesotans and that still need attention, including permanent property tax relief, flood mitigation, and making sure residents have access to great public schools and high quality healthcare and long-term care.”