Long-time DFL Representative announces retirement from LegislatureRep. Bill Hilty (DFL-Finlayson) announced March 19 he will not seek re-election to the Minnesota House of Representatives.
By: Pine Journal, Pine Journal
Rep. Bill Hilty (DFL-Finlayson) announced Monday he will not seek re-election to the Minnesota House of Representatives.
“It has been a privilege to be able to serve the people of our region and to work for the good of our state,” Hilty said. “I am grateful for all the friendships that have been built across Minnesota and I will continue to be a strong advocate for the critical issues facing our state.”
Hilty currently represents District 8A, which includes portions of Pine, Carlton and St. Louis counties.
However, Carlton County is now part of a new legislative district, House District 11A – which also includes some of northern Pine County – following the Feb. 21 announcement of the state’s redistricting plan. The move left Carlton County with no incumbent, since the new district ends just a few miles north of where Hilty currently lives in Finlayson.
“I’ve known for some time that it was likely to the point of inevitability that I would lose Cloquet,” said Hilty the day following the announcement of the redistricting. “I really didn’t think I would lose all of Carlton County.”
Hilty has held the office of Minnesota Representative for the past 16 years, representing a substantial part of Carlton County for the entire time, and including Cloquet for the past 10 years.
“Carlton County has been the heart of my district the whole time,” said Hilty, “and I’ve gotten to know a lot of good people there and learned to understand the dynamics of the district. I think there are a lot of people in the district who have shared my philosophies, and hopefully I’ve leant additional understanding to a number of key issues.”
An eight-term lawmaker, Hilty was instrumental in the passage of election integrity legislation that ensures a voter-verifiable paper trail and post-election audit in Minnesota elections. The system has become a model for election integrity across the nation.
Hilty, who served as chair of the House Energy Committee, was also a leader in passage of the state’s landmark bipartisan Renewable Energy Standards. He was also chief author of the Next Generation Energy Act, which made Minnesota a leader in the promotion and implementation of renewable energy. As chair, Hilty guided a diverse set of interest groups into agreement on long-term energy policy aimed at addressing future energy needs for the state.
“I look forward to helping our next DFL representative and have every confidence that person will continue the fight for a just society, with health care for all, well-funded schools, good-paying jobs, and a sustainable energy policy that will carry the people of our region and state into the future for many generations,” Hilty said.
Hilty is known for his quiet demeanor, thoughtful approach to complex issues, and his willingness to foster dialogue on difficult public policy.
During the state’s recent redistricting move, Hilty’s Finlayson residence was included as part of the newly defined District 11B, which includes portions of Pine and Kanabec counties. A new DFL candidate to represent that district will be elected in next November’s General Election.