In a letter to colleagues in the House, Rep. Steve Gottwalt, R-St. Cloud, announced that he will resign his seat in the House before the end of the month. Gottwalt had been elected to his fourth term in the House last November. He has accepted a job as director of state legislative policy for the Center for Diagnostic Imaging, a job that Gottwalt said “will not allow me the time I need to represent the people of District 14A.”
Gottwalt chaired the House Committee on Health and Human Services Reform in the 2011-2012 biennium while the GOP held legislative majorities. He was also the chief House author of a bill to create a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage, which caused raucous rallies and hours of debate on the House floor as the 2011 session drew to a close. The measure passed the House by a vote of 70-62, but was defeated by voters in the general election.
Gottwalt’s resignation sets up a second special election in the House, after DFL Rep. Terry Morrow announced his own resignation about two weeks ago. Gottwalt won his race in 2012 by around 8 percentage points over DFLer Anne Nolan.
The full text of Gottwalt’s letter to House members is below:
At the beginning of December, I announced the great news that I had joined Center for Diagnostic Imaging as Director of State Legislative Policy, in a national role assisting this healthcare company in continuing its leadership in providing high quality, cost-effective diagnostic imaging services. My role at the CDI Quality Institute is to understand and translate the complex state healthcare regulatory environment in more than 25 states in which the company sees patients, and I am proud to be working with a health care company actively seeking solutions at a critical time for healthcare across the country.
As I’ve settled in at CDI, I see the states are once again the laboratory of democracy, and each is finding its own approach to implementing the new federal healthcare law. It’s a huge set of changes, and it makes this position one to which I must fully commit as much time and focus as possible. It quite simply is more than a full time job, and one that will not allow me the time I need to represent the people of District 14A as their State Representative.
That is why I have made the difficult decision to resign my seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives before the end of the month. I thank you, my colleagues, for our years of service together, and my constituents for their confidence in electing me to represent them. I will always appreciate the deep honor and privilege of serving the residents of St. Cloud, Waite Park, St. Augusta and Rockville.
Sincerely in service,
State Rep. Steve Gottwalt