Rep. Kathy Tingelstad, R-Andover, one of the six Republicans who voted to override Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s veto of the transportation bill earlier this session, announced today that she will not seek re-election.
The contentious debate over the transportation bill and the subsequent override of the governor’s veto led to outrage among more conservative Republicans. The 12-year incumbent did not receive an endorsement at the district convention in late February.
She said the lack of endorsement had some effect on her decision not to run. “The endorsement process has been a small factor in my decision not to seek re-election, it was one indicator to me that it is time for me to pursue other opportunities.”
She said her main motivation to leave office is to send her children to college.
“After 12 years in the Minnesota House of Representatives, my responsibility toward my sons’ education means that the modest legislative salary prevents me from contributing to our family’s financial well-being,” Tingelstad said in a statement. “It is now important for me to pursue new job opportunities at an executive-level position in business or government.”
Mary Lahammer of Almanac has some words to say about Tingelstad’s departure and about Tingelstad’s reaction to the veto override vote.
She is well-liked and respected on both sides of the aisle. She was one of the lawmakers who was always trying to learn more and understand the process. I know some legislative events I spoke at or covered she was often one of just a few lawmakers to show up. Her colleagues say she was crying on the floor when she had to vote against her caucus and they have told me that she voted for the override to help the governor, not hurt him. Tingelstad is a kind and dedicated lawmaker.