Rep. Bob Dettmer will not seek re-election

Rep. Bob Dettmer (R-District 39A), which includes Forest Lake and Scandia, has announced he is not seeking re-election in 2022. 

“It’s something my wife and I have been talking about for a year or so,” Dettmer said. He has no further plans for office or another job, he said, as he and his wife — both in their 70s —  are looking to spend more time with their family (the couple has eight grandkids), and retire as snowbirds to Florida.

“I’d like to thank the citizens in House District 39A for their support over the years and for the opportunity to represent their interests in St. Paul,” Dettmer said in a press release. “It has truly been an honor and a privilege, but after 16 years of being in the political arena I am ready to spend more time with my family.”

Dettmer was first elected in 2006, and focused on veterans affairs as he was on the Minnesota House Veterans Affairs and Military Affairs committee throughout his political career, even chairing the committee from 2015-2018. Himself a veteran, Dettmer retired from his military career in 2011 as a chief warrant officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. He was deployed for nearly two years serving in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom after 9/11, in the midst of his teaching career at Forest Lake Area High School where he was a physical education teacher and wrestling coach.

He took office in January 2007, taking a leave of absence for the legislative session and returning just before the end of the school year for his final weeks working as a teacher and coach. 

“Being in the legislature, you have to keep reminding yourself you’re there as a servant. And I really enjoyed my time working with the people in my district. The 16 years have gone by pretty fast. I’m glad I had the opportunity to serve. I want to thank all the people out there that have helped me to serve,” Dettmer said.