State Representative Otremba retires from District 11BState Representative Mary Ellen Otremba, DFL-Long Prairie, announced today that she is retiring from the Minnesota House of Representatives after serving seven terms in office.
By: Staff Report, Alexandria Echo Press
State Representative Mary Ellen Otremba, DFL-Long Prairie, announced today that she is retiring from the Minnesota House of Representatives after serving seven terms in office.
Otremba represents District 11B, which covers the eastern half of Douglas County and all of Todd County. In Douglas County, the district includes some of Alexandria (parts of wards 1, 2 and 3), the cities of Carlos, Nelson and Osakis, and the townships of Alexandria, Belle River, Carlos, Ida, Miltona, Orange, Osakis and Spruce Hill.
A DFL candidate from Staples, Amy L. Hunter, has filed for the District 11B position. Mary Franson of Alexandria is the endorsed Republican candidate.
Otremba issued the following statement:
"It has been an incredible privilege to serve the citizens of District 11B in the Minnesota House of Representatives. There is no greater honor in a democracy than to be selected by one's fellow citizens to represent them in the halls of government. I will always be grateful for the years I've had to serve in our beautiful Capitol, working to enhance the quality of life for all Minnesotans."
"Public service has been a part of my life, even before I came to the Legislature. In fact, it was my dad who brought me to my first precinct caucus. Since that day, I've never stopped working to shine a light on the wonderful things than make Greater Minnesotas quality of life so special. I will continue to advocate for the issues that matter most to rural Minnesotans - agriculture, the environment and conservation, health care, quality education and a firm commitment to protecting life from conception until natural death."
"Now I'm looking forward to spending more time with my family, especially with my two grandbabies. I'm also looking forward to having more time with all of the friends Ive made over the years who continue to be such a big part of my life. And I might even do a little sewing, too."
"I cannot say 'thank you' often enough to the voters of Todd and Douglas for giving me and my beloved husband Ken the opportunity to be their voice in the Minnesota House. It has been a blessing and a gift."
Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson Kelliher issued the following statement about Representative Otremba:
"Representative Otremba's legacy in the Minnesota House will stand for generations. She was a tireless advocate on behalf of rural Minnesota. Her community, her district and Minnesota are better off because of her work."
Otremba was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in November of 1997 in a special election held after the death of her husband, Representative Ken Otremba. Her win was the first special election victory by a DFLer in Minnesota history.
A licensed K-12 teacher, she made rural health care and education some of her top legislative priorities. One of her first actions after being elected to the Minnesota House was to create a critical access program that enabled rural hospitals to receive funding to provide public health care services. She also passed legislation to provide farm families with access to affordable health insurance, and worked to improve mental health care services, especially for children, in rural areas.
She was one of 10 pro-life Minnesota delegates to the 1992 Democratic National Convention.
Otremba currently serves as chair of the House Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs Committee, and is a member of the Ways and Means Committee. She also serves on the Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee for the Veterans Affairs Division and on the Finance subcommittees for the Agriculture, Rural Economies and Veterans Affairs Finance Division and the Health Care and Human Services Finance Division.
Active in a number of legislative commissions and community organizations, Otremba is a member of the Early Childhood Caucus; the Legislative Committee to End Poverty; the Legislative Energy Commission; Minnesota Agriculture Education Advisory Board; Rural Health Advisory Board; Democrats for Life; the Minnesota Farmers Union; Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life; the Veterans of Foreign Wars; the Catholic Woman's Association and the Todd County Historical Society.