Former state legislator Jeremy Kalin has announced that he will no longer seek the Secretary of State’s office, winnowing the Democratic field in that race back down to two DFL candidates. Kalin made his decision public in a Facebook post that appeared on Friday, explaining that he would step aside from the race to pursue opportunities in the private sector.
Kalin, 38, is the second prominent DFL candidate to cite personal reasons for leaving the contest to replace Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, who has announced he will not seek reelection. Hennepin County elections administrator Rachel Bohman was the first entrant to go public on the Democratic side, but withdrew her bid in early August. Kalin’s departure leaves only a pair of Democratic lawmakers, Reps. Debra Hilstrom (Brooklyn Center) and Steve Simon (Golden Valley), both of whom remain in the race.
On the Republican side, investment executive and political newcomer Dennis Nguyen is the only declared candidate for Ritchie’s job, though Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, has said she, too, is considering a run for the office, which she previously held from 1999-2007. Also known to be mulling GOP bids are Rep. Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers, and Kent Kaiser, a Republican activist and former staffer in the office during Kiffmeyer’s tenure.
In seeking to explain why he was leaving the campaign trail, Kalin wrote that opportunities for his clean-energy firm, Eutectics Consulting, had picked up on a national scale shortly after his entry into the race. Kalin, who served two terms representing the Chisago County area in the state House, said the tasks created by the new work opportunities could not be passed off to staffers, and would command his direct attention.
“I am convinced that, right now, I can make a real difference in financing sustainability and making it easier for investors and business owners to do the right thing for the environment and for their bottom lines,” Kalin wrote.
Kalin went on to thank supporters and campaign donors, and did not offer an immediate endorsement to either of the other two Democrats running.