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Mark Murdock won't run again

Representative Mark Murdock, R-Ottertail

District 10B Representative Mark Murdock, R-Ottertail, announced he will not seek a third term in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

In the press release, Murdock, 59, said he will fulfill his legislative duties until the current term expires. He said a desire to spend more time with his family is the reason he has decided to retire from the House. He and his wife, Pat, have two grown children, three grandchildren and another grandchild due in March.

"After some long discussions with Pat, other family members and close friends over the holidays, we decided four years at the Capitol is enough," Murdock said. "I never went to St. Paul with the intention of being a career politician. This is a citizen Legislature and it is someone else's turn to have the honor of representing the people of District 10B. This has been an unbelievably humbling experience. Working as a public servant in St. Paul has been more rewarding than I ever could have imagined. I will miss the friends I have made at the Capitol, but family must come first and it is time for me to head home."

Murdock is the vice chair of the Transportation Policy and Finance Committee. He also serves with education reform, along with commerce and regulatory reform committees.

Murdock serves District 10B, which covers Wadena County, eastern Otter Tail County and part of Becker County.

His seat will be open for the 2012 election, depending on redistricting decisions based on the 2010 census.

Redistricting is underway but has not been finalized as of the time of writing. The deadline to complete the redistricting process is Feb. 21, which is after the caucuses on Tuesday but well before the Aug. 14 state primary.

Brent Frazier, chair of Otter Tail County Republicans, said he did not know at this point who would be the Republican candidate to replace Murdock's open spot.

In the 2010 election, Murdock was re-elected over Pete Phillips of Wadena.

"I'm sad to see Mark go. He's a good guy," Phillips said. "Mark Murdock ran for office for the right reason, and it's too bad that he's leaving. I can say that even though he beat me ... He's honest, he's ethical and he worked hard."