Minnesota Rep. Michael Paymar, a Democrat serving St. Paul who was proved a strong advocate for gun control, announced Wednesday that he will not run for re-election next year.
Paymar has served 9 terms, and he oversaw the contentious hearings that attracted overflow crowds regarding increased background checks on gun purchases; however, he told MinnPost that frustration over the failure of the gun bill was not what prompted his decision.
During his time in office, Paymar has been a sure supporter of bills aimed at preventing domestic violence, and has written two books on the issues that contribute to the problem. A third will be published next year.
Once he leaves the Legislature, Paymar intends to tackle gender-based violence with the non-profit he started, Education for Critical Thinking, on a national and international level.
Paymar's superiors in the Minnesota House of Representatives issued statements regarding his decision. They can be read in full below.
HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER ERIN MURPHY
"I am grateful for the opportunity to have served with Michael at the State Capitol and on behalf of those living in Saint Paul. The leadership he demonstrated for his community and for all Minnesotans has been focused and determined. And no matter the issue, Michael has always has been an advocate for those who needed a voice at the State Capitol.
I am confident his work on behalf of others will continue and I am excited to see what Michael does next."
HOUSE SPEAKER PAUL THISSEN
"I want to congratulate Michael Paymar on an impressive legislative career and for his dedication to public service to his community and state.
Different members of the legislature bring a variety of strengths to the job. Michael's great strength has always been his deep passion about fighting for people the rest of us don't always think about. That passion will be deeply missed in the legislature. Michael is known for his strong principles and for standing up for those principles even when many others around him disagreed. But Michael was also fantastic at bringing coalitions together to move those ideas forward.
Perhaps the greatest testament to any legislator is the fact that he will be missed not just by those who agreed with him but by everyone. Michael is one of those legislators - someone who has earned the respect of his colleagues and the thanks of the people of Minnesota."