State Representative John Benson (DFL), who represents Minnetonka, Plymouth and Woodland in House District 44B announced Wednesday that he will not be seeking re-election to the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Rep. Benson was first elected in 2006 and will be completing his fourth term in the Legislature.
"Representing the citizens of my community has been a great personal honor," Benson said in a news release. "I have viewed these past eight years in our citizen's legislature as an opportunity for me to help improve Minnesota's quality of life and then to return to private life."
Rep. Benson, a retired teacher, made education a priority in his service in the legislature. He said after serving out his term he will continue to find ways to contribute to the common good as a private citizen.
Also on Tuesday, Jon Applebaum and Jon Tollefson announced bids for the seat.
Jon Applebaum said he is running for state representative because he wants Minnesota to be the best state in the country, and "I believe that starts with improving our state government.”
“It has been a pleasure getting to know Representative Benson over the past year and I cannot thank him enough for his great service to our district and to Minnesota,” Applebaum said in a news release. “His counsel and encouragement of my campaign have been extraordinary. I look forward to build upon his work and would be honored to serve the community in which I was raised.”
In the coming months, Applebaum will work to earn the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party endorsement.
Applebaum is a real estate consultant at a company he founded. He also serves as Of Counsel to a growing law firm located in the western suburbs of Minneapolis. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and the University of Minnesota Law School.
Jon Tollefson, of Minnetonka, served in the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer in Nigeria, Washington D.C., and most recently in Mexico City. Following the Foreign Service, he returned to his hometown of Minnetonka and is currently employed by the Minnesota High Tech Association.
Tollefson’s campaign focus areas are ensuring schools receive necessary funding to provide quality education; building a 21st century transportation system that meets residents’ needs; and strategically investing in the high-tech economy to promote growth and attract new business to Minnetonka, Plymouth and Woodland.
State Senator Scott Dibble is co-chairing Tollefson's campaign with Joyce Fiedler, a resident of Minnetonka.