Longest-serving Minnesota legislator ever says he’ll retire

Published 2:45 pm Thursday, December 12, 2019

ST. PAUL — The all-time longest serving member of the Minnesota Legislature announced Wednesday that he’ll retire instead of seeking a 25th two-year term.

Democratic Rep. Lyndon Carlson, who took office in 1973, said in a statement that he looks forward to being an active participant in the 2020 session, which convenes Feb. 11. But it will be the last for the 79-year-old retired teacher from Crystal.

According to the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library, Carlson is the longest-tenured member of both the Minnesota House and the Legislature as a whole.

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“The past 47 years have been exceptionally fulfilling,” Carlson said. “I have had the opportunity to be part of many important and lasting legislative accomplishments for the people of Minnesota.

Carlson, who chairs the powerful Ways and Means Committee, said his highlights have included his work on education, health care, prescription drugs, the environment, jobs and economic development, and transportation.

Democratic House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler called Carlson “a valuable mentor and dedicated friend” who “represents the best example of public service Minnesotans could ask for in an elected official.”