When Republicans retake the House majority in January, 2010, they’ll do so without 2 of their most promising stars: Paul Kohls and Laura Brod. Here’s Rep. Brod’s statement announcing that she won’t be running for re-election:

Dear Friends,

Over the past 8 years, I’ve been honored to serve as your State Representative in District 25A.

With your support and encouragement, I focused my efforts on the issues that impacted our daily lives. My efforts were directed to policies that I believed fostered an economic climate that was conducive to job creation and economic growth. I fought against excessive regulations that choke investment in our state and undermine the innovation and creativity of our private sector to generate the type of economic climate we need and demand.

Without your support, I could not have enjoyed the opportunity and the honor to serve that I have had for the past 8 years.

My belief has always been that we are a state that values a citizen legislature, and that there comes a time for other citizens to serve their community.

It is my belief that the time for others to serve in the Legislature for our district has come, and my time to find other challenges and ways to contribute is upon me.

It is in that spirit I announce that I will not be a candidate for re-election in 2010 for the State Legislature in District 25A.

There is a real change going on right now across the country. Finally, perhaps for the first time in thirty years, government is once again hearing from “We the People.”

While I will not be running for public office this fall, I have every intention of being involved in public policy in the future. There are many issues in which Democrats, Republicans and Independents can agree upon and many that have great differences; all of which require a conversation to move our nation forward. I hope to be a part of that conversation in some way, and am proud of the friendship I have developed with you and so many others in this great state we call home. I have a passion to serve, and a strong and resolute belief in the power of the people of Minnesota to build a better state for themselves and their families.

I have been given unbelievable opportunities by you, our party, Governor Pawlenty, and my colleagues in the House Republican Caucus during my tenure. Serving in the minority and the majority, I have seen the importance of every vote and every minute of hard work necessary to ensure prosperity and liberty for our state.

My own parents instilled in me a strong belief that participatory democracy is the cornerstone of our democratic society, and each and every day I served in the Minnesota House of Representatives, I’ve tried to remember their words of encouragement and support.

We truly do live in a remarkable state and an incredible nation. For a kid from New Prague, Minnesota to have been given the honor to work in our state’s capitol, I can’t begin to fully express my appreciation for the past 8 years to serve the people of my community. On behalf of my family, I want to thank you for your support and friendship. We have been honored to be a part of the great experience of public service.

I look forward to continuing to stay in touch and to work and support candidates who share our beliefs in a conservative approach to governance. With so much to look forward to in the days, the weeks, the months and years ahead, I am grateful for your friendship and your support over the past 8 years.

Warm Regards,

Laura Brod

Few people know this but Laura Brod was the person that got me interested in state politics. Prior to the 2006 disaster, if I focused on politics, that focus was almost entirely on national politics. The closest I came to caring about local politics was with U.S. House seats.

Following the 2006 disaster, I resolved to fight a different fight, that I wouldn’t fight for unprincipled RINOs. I resolved that I’d gladly fight alongside principled conservatives every time the opportunity presented itself. Little did I know that Rep. Brod was the first politician that I’d fight the good fight with.

During the first week of the 2007 session, with the House debating tax conformity legislation, Rep. Brod proposed an amendment to cut taxes. Speaker Kelliher, wanting to protect her freshmen from voting against a tax cut, ruled that Rep. Brod’s amendment wasn’t germane to the legislation.

To say that Rep. Brod wasn’t letting it go is understatement. Saying that Laura’s feistiness was a breath of fresh air is also understatement.

That’s when I regained confidence that some Republicans were still willing to fight for time-tested conservative principles. Not being the bashful sort, I emailed Rep. Brod, introduced myself as a blogger in St. Cloud and as a conservative activist who appreciated her fighting the good fight. Within minutes, I got a reply, thanking me for standing with House Republicans in their fight.

A month later, I joined several local BPOU members in meeting Reps. Brod, Dean, McNamara and Greg Peppin in St. Cloud. After that meeting, I was hooked on following state politics.

During those dark days of 2007, I started noticing a strong conservative nucleus emerging in the House, including Reps. Brod, Dean, Buesgens, Emmer, Kohls, Seifert, Severson, Gottwalt and Holberg.

Back then, Republicans I spoke with locally kept living in the past, saying that there wasn’t “a dime’s worth of difference between Republicans and Democrats.” When I’d hear that, I’d just tell them about this nucleus of conservatives and how they were fighting the good fight. Inevitably, I’d tell the person that they should study what was happening.

Last year, I had the good fortune of meeting Paul Kohls when he was running for governor. Paul struck me as a man with a quick wit and great principles. He’s the first person I heard talking about “living within our means.” Saying that Paul’s conservative credentials are impeccable is understatement.

Now we’re faced with replacing most of that group. The good news is that the candidates that’ve been recruited seem very capable of filling some very big shoes.

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