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Tribune Editorial: Sen. Dille will be missed at Capitol

Sen. Steve Dille announced earlier this week that he would not seek re-election in 2010. The veteran Republican senator will serve during the 2010 Minnesota legislative session.

Dille will be missed in the Legislature.

A veterinarian and farmer from Dassel, Dille has served diligently and well -- first in the House for six years and then for 17 years in the Senate. He has a good temperament that has served his constituents, his district and his party well.

Unfortunately, Dille is a moderate in a district where some in the Republican Party are moving farther to the right. This moderate senator was facing opposition within his district from party activists, who were not very tolerant of some of his moderate stands.

It is unfortunate when intolerance runs anyone out of either major political party.

Dille was brave and he was right for taking a stand for outstate Minnesota when he voted to override Gov. Tim Pawlenty's veto of the transportation bill, which included a gas tax. All of Minnesota needed this investment in our infrastructure.

Dille authored the Freedom to Breathe Act, supported and signed by Pawlenty, that banned smoking in bars and restaurants. This was the right move for Minnesota.

Overall, Dille has been supportive of the Republican caucus for the majority of the time. Senate Minority Leader David Senjem of Rochester released a statement commending Dille for both his service and temperament.

However, Dille is 64 and has others things he wants to pursue in life. We understand that.

We are glad Dille will still serve through another session in the Legislature. Moreover, we wish him well in his new pursuits in life.