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State DFL chair Erlandson won't seek another term
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Mike Erlandson is stepping down as chair of the Minnesota DFL Party. Erlandson says he won't run for another term when his current one expires in May. (MPR file photo)

St. Paul, Minn. — (AP) - Minnesota DFL Party Chair Mike Erlandson has announced he won't seek another term.

Erlandson told the party's State Central Committee on Saturday he won't seek a fourth term at the DFL's annual convention in May.

Erlandson told the Star Tribune in an interview Sunday that he wants to spend more time with his two children. The 40-year-old Erlandson also is chief assistant to U.S. Rep. Martin Sabo, D-Minn., and commutes to Washington, D.C.

In 2002, the DFL suffered the death of U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone and election losses, including Wellstone's Senate seat to Republican Norm Coleman. But last year, the party won 13 seats to nearly tie Republicans in the Minnesota House and delivered Minnesota for John Kerry, who won the state by a larger margin than Al Gore did over Republican George W. Bush in 2000.

Erlandson said the DFL, which now has a bank balance of nearly $300,000 and owns its headquarters in St. Paul, has "accomplished all those goals and exceeded most of them" that he laid out when he became party chair in 1999.

"I feel like it's a good time to let somebody else take on the day-to-day role of being party chair," he said.

Former state Rep. Betty Folliard and Minneapolis lawyer Brian Melendez, who chairs the city and Fifth Congressional District DFL, both said they're running for DFL Party chair.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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