Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Melin won't seek re-election

Marshall Helmberger
Posted 1/14/16

REGIONAL— Rep. Carly Melin, DFL-Hibbing, surprised many last week with her announcement that she won’t be seeking re-election when her term ends later this year.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Melin won't seek re-election

Posted

REGIONAL— Rep. Carly Melin, DFL-Hibbing, surprised many last week with her announcement that she won’t be seeking re-election when her term ends later this year.

Melin, who was frequently touted as a rising star in DFL politics, has made a name for herself in her relatively short tenure in the Minnesota House, representing the central Iron Range. Well-spoken, fearless, and attractive, she also offered “an amazing mix of smarts, common sense and compassion,” said House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, who commented on the announcement.

She was first elected at age 25, in a special election to replace Rep. Tony Sertich, who Gov. Mark Dayton appointed as commissioner of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board. She easily won re-election to more terms and will complete her third term at the end of the year.

Melin had served as a legislative intern for Sertich during her time in law school, and Sertich said she proved to be a natural. “I knew right away she was somebody special, by her passion and her ability to connect with people all around the capital,” said Sertich. “I expected big things from her, and I still do to this day. I’m so impressed by her.”

Melin is perhaps best known as the author of the legislation that authorized the state’s medical cannabis program, but she said she’s equally proud of authoring the Women’s Economic Security Act, and the criminal records expungement law, also kown as the Second Chance Law, which made it possible for former offenders to have their records cleared from state agency records, helping them to gain employment after release.

“My public service has been dedicated to improving the quality of life of others and these accomplishments have attributed to that overall mission,” Melin said in a statement issued late last week.

While lawmakers often wait until the completion of their final legislative session before making such announcements, Melin said she wanted to announce earlier to give potential candidates time to work through the regular endorsement process, which begins with the March 1 precinct caucuses.

“Even as I make this announcement, I know my work— and term— is far from over. I look forward to the upcoming legislative session and plan to continue my focus on assisting Iron Range families who have been impacted by recent turmoil in the domestic steel market, which, in turn, has impacted our taconite mining industry.”

Melin said she is exiting politics now to devote her energies to her law career and her growing family.

Her departure leaves open the question of a replacement. While Sertich said he hasn’t heard any names mentioned yet, he said there’s usually no shortage when an opening in the Iron Range delegation arises. “People here step up for these positions,” he said.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment