Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - A Rochester state lawmaker has decided not to run for re-election next year.

Representative Kim Norton has represented her district since she was first elected in 2006 and in making her announcement Thursday, said  “the time is right for me to move on to other endeavors. “

Norton was a member of the Rochester School Board before becoming the first woman and Democrat to represent the House district. She has held leadership positions in her Caucus including assistant majority and minority leader. Norton was also very involved in the formation of the DMC legislation, ensuring the city would have the final say in all of its public policies and spending. She was well-known for working with Republican lawmakers on various bills during legislative sessions. She ran unopposed in last year’s election.

Other significant legislation she was involved in included Primary Seat Belt, Radon Resistant Home Construction, Teen Graduated Drivers Licenses,  Autism Insurance Coverage and Early Diagnosis/Intervention, reinstating Newborn Screening laws, Good Samaritan Protections, Dental Therapy, the Freedom-to-Breath Act, Bilingual Education Recognition/Credits, Statewide Health Improvement Program/Health Care Reform legislation.

Norton also co-chaired the Childhood Obesity Working Group since its inception and also serves on numerous special committees such as Non-Emergency Medical Transportation, and the Child Support Task Force. She has been appointed to represent Minnesota on both the National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL) & Council of State Governments (CSG), is a Women In Government (WIG) state representative and was chosen as a CSG Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development (BILLD) Fellow during her second term of office.

Most recently Norton received training at the University of Arizona’s National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD) in an effort to improve political climate and civility among legislators across the country. Building relationships, listening and communicating with individuals who have different viewpoints is key to changing the political climate in our state and country.  Norton has a ten year tradition of open communication with her constituents as exemplified by her monthly coffee hours and open door policy.  She intends to continue her involvement in the NICD effort after her retirement from the Minnesota Legislature.

“I will certainly miss my colleagues and the many friends I’ve made in St. Paul.  The staff is incredibly talented and the advocates’ passion for their clients is inspiring.  My dedicated campaign volunteers and friends have been with me every step of the way and I owe them my eternal gratitude. I’m ready for a change and just trust that new opportunities await that will be fulfilling for me in the years to come and I look forward to discovering them!”

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