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Wardner will not seek re-election to the state Senate

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Dave Thompson, Prairie Public
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Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson) announces he won't seek re-election

After a 32 year Legislative career – 8 years in the House, 24 years in the Senate, with 10 years as Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson) will not seek re-election after his term ends in 2022.

"Three years ago, I made a decision that this term would be my last," Wardner said at a Capitol news conference.

Wardner told reporters a lot has been accomplished – and he worked with Senate and House colleagues on such issues as energy, education, behavioral health and infrastructure spending.

As for any advice for who will succeed hm in leading his caucus, Wardner said the leader should treat everyone in the Legislature with respect. And he said he believes in delegating authority.

"One person can't make all the decisions here," Wardner said. "Our people would go into meetings, and be able to make decisions, because we had done work ahead of time, and we had gone over the facts."

Wardner said he never had to call anybody in and say that person had to vote a particular way.

"It seemed like when we came up with the big issues, everybody was together," Wardner said.

And Wardner said the Republican party – and the state – needs to come together to focus on shared needs and common goals.

"I'm hoping the actions would be rooted in civility," Wardner said. "Building each other up, and recognizing each other's inherent worth, and disagreeing respectfully when necessary."

Wardner said that's critical to insure that the good people are willing to serve.

Wardner plans to stay involved in the Dickinson community. And he said he would like to look at opportunities in education.

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