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Dickinson Sen. George Nodland: I'm retiring

Sen. George Nodland, R-Dickinson

District 36 Sen. George Nodland, R-Dickinson, will not seek a second term, he announced Thursday.

"I've been in involved in civic groups and affairs and committees and boards for over 40 years, and I think it's time to step aside and let hopefully somebody younger get involved and just slow down," Nodland said. "There's a time in everyone's life when you have to step aside and go into the next phase of your life."

Although he's bowing out of his Senate seat, Nodland is not finished with public service.

"I'm sure I'll be on some board or another until I physically or mentally cannot," Nodland said.

His wife, Kayleen, isn't surprised and supports his passion for public service.

"I want him to," she said. "I think it's good because I really think he's got a lot of expertise."

Sen. Nodland, who resides just north of Dickinson, estimates he has been on 20 to 25 boards in his lifetime.

"I enjoy the activities," he said. "They're challenging, but very rewarding."

Sen. Nodland grew up in Dunn Center. His father's death while the senator was young played into his years of public service.

"Actually, I was a recipient of Dunn County Social Services," he said. "I've always thought I should give back and that's probably why I pushed myself to be in public service as many years as I did."

Now Sen. Nodland plans to spend more time near Dunn Center, since he and his wife hope to build a cabin nearby.

"It will be kind of fun to have him around more," Kayleen Nodland said.

The couple also hopes to spend more time with grandchildren and veterans affairs.

Sen. Nodland is proud he helped increase oil revenue distributed to local entities and wants to see it further increased. He also had a hand in increasing the oil impact fund from $4 million to $100 million.

"I worked very hard for that in convincing legislators in the other part of the state to vote for that," Sen. Nodland said.

In his months left on the Senate, he wants to see projects started with road funding and energy impact funds completed.

"I will work diligently to continue to try to get all the funding I can for our western area -- especially Stark and Dunn county and the cities in each county," Sen. Nodland said.

Rep. Mike Schatz, R-New England, who was Sen. Nodland's running mate in 2008, is saddened by the senator's retirement.

"First of all, he's a really good friend and when you run together as a team, he's your partner," he said. "There's going to be a void, for me anyway, in the next election without him being there."

Sen. Nodland has represented the state "with vigor and intelligence," Schatz said.

"One of the things about George is he's got a world of experiences and his knowledge on county issues and transportation issues, you know, are really going to be missed," he said.

Sen. Nodland said he too will miss the people he worked with and for. He is thankful for those who have supported him.

"I've been really proud," Kayleen Nodland said. "I feel he's accomplished a lot. He's served his constituents very well."

Chuck Andrus of South Heart, who lost to Nodland in 2008, said he hasn't decided whether he will run again.

"I'm certainly keeping my options open," he said. "I've been asked to run by people I respect, but at the same time I have personal obligations and so on."