Minnesota State Senator Jim Metzen has passed away on Monday at the age of 72 after a battle with lung cancer.
Metzen was one of Minnesota’s longest serving lawmakers, having first been elected to public office at age 23, serving on the St. Paul City Council. He was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1974. Metzen was a Democrat from South St. Paul.
Metzen was re-elected to the Minnesota House ten times before being elected to the State Senate in 1986. He was currently serving in his ninth term in the senate, but announced that he would not be seeking a tenth term due to health reasons.
According to Metzen’s biography, he served as the president of the Senate from 2003 to 2011, and he was the chair of numerous committees and subcommittees. He focused on employment, education, taxes and economic development.
Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith released a statement saying Metzen “loved the Minnesota Senate, South St. Paul, hockey, and most of all his family. He represented his district with energy and commitment for 42 years. He was a great friend, and we will all miss him very much.”
Metzen is survived by his wife and two children.