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Housley skips Tina Smith rematch for U.S. Senate; will run again for Minnesota state Senate

Karin Housley.

ST. PAUL — State Sen. Karin Housley, a Washington County Republican who ran for the U.S. Senate last year and lost, has announced that in 2020 she will pursue reelection to her current role.

“After months of consideration, I have decided to seek another term representing Forest Lake, Stillwater and the surrounding St. Croix Valley in the Minnesota Senate,” she said in a statement Tuesday, July 2. “I will not run for election to the United States Senate.”

Housley was the Republican nominee against Democrat Tina Smith, who was appointed to fill Sen. Al Franken’s seat after he resigned in early 2018. Smith beat Housley by more than 10 percentage points in the November election to fill the remaining two years in Franken’s term. Next year’s election will determine who fills the seat for a six-year term.

Housley said she had been encouraged by fellow Republicans to try again, but decided to stay close to home.

“As I enter into a new season of life with my family, I know this is the right decision,” she said. “I am looking forward to joining my husband, Phil, on his new adventure, making memories with my four kids and two grandsons, and continuing to serve the communities I love.”

Her husband, a former professional hockey player, recently signed a multi-year contract as assistant coach for the Arizona Coyotes.

Housley, who lives in St. Marys Point and has served two terms in the Minnesota Senate, is best known for her work on issues related to aging and long-term care and veterans.

“I love our communities and I love Minnesota — and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in the past seven years. I’m excited to continue that work,” she said.