John Kriesel, pro-gay marriage MNGOP Rep., won't seek reelection [VIDEO]

Kriesel won't seek reelection this November, saying his military and political duties have created difficulties for his family.
Last May, Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, gave one of the most remarkable, well-delivered speeches in the history of the Minnesota House.

Kriesel, 30, lost both of his legs in Iraq in 2006. During his speech, voice breaking with emotion, he recalled gay military colleagues of his who had died serving their country. If they are good enough to fight and die for the U.S., aren't they good enough to marry who they want? Kriesel urged his Republican colleagues to "stand up for freedom" and join him in voting against the proposed gay marriage ban (video of the speech is embedded below).

Today, citing a desire to spend more time with his young family, Kriesel announced that he will not seek a second term to the Minnesota House. He didn't rule out a run for political office in the future.

In reporting on Kriesel's announcement, Politics in Minnesota characterized the Cottage Grove lawmaker as "a rising star in the GOP caucus." The Star Tribune writes that Kriesel "won notice for his active social media presence, on which he chats about his frequent trips to Las Vegas and his love of beer, and for being one of the few Republicans to vote against the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage." He's also known as a fervent supporter of the Vikings' new stadium drive.

Observers of Minnesota politics on Twitter generally expressed disappointment about Kriesel's decision. Here's some of the reaction:
And here's video of Kriesel's epic pro-gay rights speech:
Finally, a transcript of Kriesel's statement announcing his decision not to seek reelection:
Fellow members and staff,

After much thought, personal reflection and consultation with my family, I have decided not to seek re-election to the Minnesota House of Representatives.

My military career was very tough on my family, and while being a State Representative pales in comparison, it still causes additional strain at home. Juggling my job at the Capitol, my job working for the National Guard and still giving my wife and sons the time they deserve has become increasingly difficult.

I cannot believe that my sons will be 10 and 11 this year. As parents we get only a few precious years with our children before they grow up and move out of the nest. I want to make sure that I am around for my sons during this very impressionable time in their lives.

My wife Katie has been nothing short of amazing. She held down the fort when I was deployed overseas, pulled extra duty when I decided to run for office and worked full time through it all. I would not be in the position I am today without her love and support. She has continued to put her career goals on hold while I have pursued my own dreams and now I feel it is my turn to step up at home and let her continue on her path.

I am proud of the work that I've done at the Capitol. I worked hard to represent all the people of my district equally, not just those that voted for me. Although I'm certain there is not one person that agrees with every vote I made, I truly thought about each decision and voted from my heart with the best interest of my constituents in mind.

Rest assured I will finish this session and the rest of 2012 strong. There is still much work to be done. I have a genuine passion for politics and plan to stay active, just not as a candidate. It has been an honor serving Minnesotans at the Capitol. This is a time in my life I will remember fondly.

I want to thank all of the people that have mentored me and encouraged me to seek re-election. It is truly humbling to know how many supporters I have. Please know this decision was not easy, but it is the decision that is best for my family at this time.

Respectfully,
John Kriesel


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16 comments
Toof Fairy
Toof Fairy

You are all missing the main point here.   The Gays should not be allowed to marry. It is disgusting and just plain wrong.  People may start wanting to marry goats and girraffes soon .. if enough people (always a minority of course) whine and compain that the law just isnt "fair", it might just happen. If a guy saves my life on the battlefield but is married to a goat, who cares?  He is brave enough to risk his life for our Country, who cares what his perversions are ..  

Mn Voter
Mn Voter

We need more vets in politics. Unfortunately we have weak presidents thinking this war or that war is better. Now 2/3 of all causualties are from Afghanistan since Obama escalated the "Good" war. We need to scale the military industrial complex back.

Sending people back for a fourth tour with head injuries shows a big need the whole admin, DOD and war machine  is wasting resources, spilling blood and destroying American image abroad. Enough war - bring the troops home.  Put them on the borders.

Randall Douglas
Randall Douglas

I would consider crossing over to vote for him. I wonder how much his desicion is the case of a GOP party that's lost touch with regular people and their values and instead tries to tell people what their values have to be if they want to label themselves as conservative. 

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

RINO's get eaten.Who cares if he's a war vet?Modern day vets are nothing more than paid government employees.  A job in which they sign up for, and get paid well for their lifetime with a ton of benefits. 

"he recalled gay military colleagues of his who had died serving their country"Wait what?Wasn't "Don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) in effect then?Looks like we found another example of how Obama and the democrats waste their time on frivolous things to appeal to a fringe of society.According to Mr. Kriesal, DADT was a non issue.

Jeremy B
Jeremy B

If you, I dunno, learned how to read, you'd have noted that the repeal of DADT was by and large a non-issue with those currently serving in the armed forces. Funny thing is, like Rep. Kriesel, once you serve alongside someone and/or get to know them, all of the fear-mongering and moralizing about who they are looks ignorant and pointless. I'm sure you're a sweet, cuddly teddy bear below the raving inanity, for instance...

amiller92
amiller92

Yeah, what's a few legs, anyway, compared to a government salary?

Thomas Anderson
Thomas Anderson

 Wow, disparaging veterans, that's pretty unreal. I guess if I was a total failure in life like you I would probably be full of hate too. Honestly tough buddy I feel bad for people like you. Clearly there was something in your past or some sort of pre existing brain condition that made you the way you are, and frankly it's pretty hard to treat things like that so I doubt consulting a psychiatrist would do any good. If I were you I'd continue to define myself through my massively uneducated and semi insane postings on a website almost nobody reads. Best regards.

HotLunch
HotLunch

So now you hate war vets too? You're certainly lead a perplexing and inconsistent existence.

Joe
Joe

 How would you like it if you were forced to conceal the fact that you are a belligerent asshole when posting in the comments?

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

Don't feel bad for me champ, come to my website and buy some of my bumper stickers.  I believe you may have some extra money to burn.Posting on Fox Business???  Good for you!  At least It demonstrates that you may have some grasp on economics unlike most people posting here. 

So you say, "massively uneducated"???? I've been a liberal democrat.  I understand that brand of nonsense.  I've walked in them clueless shoes.  Although, I'm willing to bet you have never been a conservative.  Thus a perfect example of being "uneducated."How does that saying go?  Until you have walked....

HotLunch
HotLunch

AMEN. Dude needs help and/or attention.

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

"hate"???Absolutely not!  I just don't like the elitist position and special provisions given to them.  It's discriminatory to the rest of us at very least.

The Defense Finance Accounting and Service maintains an archive of historical pay charts dating back to October 1, 1949.  You may find it interesting to see how the current military pay compares to what service members made in the past.

And  "inconsistent"Did I ever rave about vets?Well if I haven't, I should start off by saying; any vet that was drafted and served under those condition deserves some respect.  The rest, with the exception of medal of honor recipients, were simply doing the well paying job they applied for.

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

"forced to conceal"???If they were truly "forced", how did John know they were gay?Sounds like you're saying these gay soldiers were insubordinate to this law that "forced" them to conceal their homosexuality.

Kirk needs a kick in the ass
Kirk needs a kick in the ass

"elitist position and special provisions" Good lord, you are delusional.  The guy lost his legs.  I think he deserves those special provisions.  The day you take a bullet in the ass for our country, we'll give you that elitist position, too, jerk off.

Albatross
Albatross

Aaaand THAT'S what's wrong with today's Republican party. No freedom. No tolerance. And certainly no principles. Either one adheres slavishly to the ideological party line, or one is informed that their re-election campaign will not be supported by the party.

I'm reminded of the words of noted Marxist, Groucho, who said "I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member." Kriesel is a principled politician and wounded war veteran - he is WAY too good for the authoritarian clown college that is today's Republican party.

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