Pine Knot News - A hometown newspaper with a local office, local owners & lots of local news

OUR VIEW: Should Lourey try to run again?


July 26, 2019

We were thrilled when Tony Lourey was appointed to head the Department of Human Services under the Walz administration. One of the biggest jobs in state government, we were hopeful that Lourey’s legislative experience and his thoughtful application of progressive politics would serve the state well.

Tony Lourey had been our state Senator since 2006 and served our district ably. We came to appreciate his dedication to his constituents as he developed a skill in health care issues that eventually propelled him into this current administration.

After stepping down last week with little explanation, Lourey did not return a call from the Pine Knot News or offer any news organization a detailed explanation for his departure. We will reserve judgment on his brief tenure at DHS. It’s the state’s largest agency and has an impact on most Minnesotans in one way or another. Rumors have swirled, but there are few details on his departure, except to note that two high-level executives resigned but then “unresigned” after Lourey quit.

Because Lourey left the Senate mid-term, a special election was held last winter to find a replacement. That new Senator, Jason Rarick of Pine City, must run for re-election in 2020 if he intends to hold his seat. The Democrats have been preparing candidates to challenge the Republican, although no front runner has been established yet.

We hope Tony Lourey chooses to not run for his old Senate seat. Although he was a very capable legislator and would certainly perform well again, the hubris of running for a seat he resigned just six months ago is almost as much as the hubris of endorsing his inexperienced son in a run for his old seat. The optics of running again would not speak well for a politician of Lourey’s immense integrity.

If Lourey decides to return to public elected life, we suggest he pursue other offices on the local, state or federal level and leave State Senate District 11 to others.

We welcome your input to the Pine Knot News community newspaper. Send your thoughts, letters, or news to [email protected]


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