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Murdock will not seek third term

Published 10:34am Tuesday, January 31, 2012 Updated 10:34am Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mark Murdock will not seek a third term as District 10B’s state representative in 2012. Murdock, a Republican, made the announcement Monday in an e-mail to fellow legislators.

“It was a hard decision,” Murdock told The Journal. “I love the job. I love the institution down here, and I’ve hopefully done a few things that have made some people’s lives a little better.”

Murdock, who originally hoped to serve for three terms, said he wants to spend more time with his family. His time away was hard on his wife, he added, as the two are used to being together after several years running their hardware store (they have since sold it to his son’s family).

“We miss each other,” he said, adding that he also wants to be around more for the rest of his family, especially with a new grandchild on the way. “It’s a matter of my family (needing) me up north.”

Looking back on the one and a half terms he’s served so far, Murdock said his proudest achievement was cooperating with other lawmakers to pass a bonding bill to expand the Perham waste incinerator and turn it into “a viable four-county project.”

“I kind of point to that as a thing I was happy to get done,” he said, adding that it never would have happened without help from other lawmakers like former District 10 Sen. Dan Skogen.

“It’s never ‘I,’” he said. “I use the word ‘we.’”

The part of Murdock’s service that most frustrated him was what he saw as a sometimes impossible rift between the two major parties.

“It’s quite partisan there, and if we could just take the gloves off and forget about party politics sometimes, we could get a lot of stuff done,” he said.

Though he won’t be running in the fall, Murdock is still focusing on serving his constituents until the very last day of his term. On top of his agenda this year is securing bonding to build a new community center in Wadena. The town’s old center was destroyed in a 2010 tornado.

“It’s something the city needs to move forward,” he said.

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