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Bismarck State Senator will not seek re-election

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Dave Thompson, Prairie Public
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Sen. Nicole Poolman (R-Bismarck) embraces Sen. Tim Mathern (D-Fargo), after announcing she won't seek re-election.

A Bismarck Republican Senator will not be seeking re-election.

Nicole Poolman has been in the state Senate since 2013. She serves on the Appropriations Committee.

Poolman told her colleagues she wants to concentrate on her job as an English teacher at Bismarck Century High School, and she has a son with autism who will graduate from high school in the spring. But she also said there is a political reason she is walking away.

"We are living in divisive times - toxic times," Poolman said. "I would be lying if I didn't admit to feeling a little weary."

Poolman said she ran 10 years ago because she saw civility diminishing in "our national conversation."

"And I didn't want that to happen here," Poolman said.

Poolman said she hopes she has contributed to an atmosphere of respect and decorum during her Senate years.

"But I do feel civility and respect slipping, even here in North Dakota, some days in the Legislature," Poolman said.

Poolman said she hopes the state Senate will continue its value of decorum.

Poolman was a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The committee chairman — Sen. Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks) — paid tribute to her.

"I used a quote earlier from William S. Gilbert — who you may remember from Gilbert and Sullivan," Holmberg said. "He said, 'It isn't so much what's on the table that matters, it's who's in the chairs.' And I think we should thank the Senator from Bismarck for gracing this body for a number of years."

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