Citing ‘toxic’ and ‘divisive’ times, Republican state senator announces retirement


MINOT, N.D. — Sen. Nicole Poolman, a Republican from Bismarck first elected in 2012, used a floor speech at the special session in Bismarck today to announce her retirement from office.

In her remarks, a prepared version of which I obtained in advance, Poolman cited personal and professional reasons for leaving elected office. She wants to focus more on what she described as her “real” job as a teacher, and also on the needs of her son who has an intellectual disability.

But she also cited a growing lack of civility in politics.

“Politically, we are living in divisive times. Toxic times. I would be lying if I didn’t admit to feeling a little weary,” she said in her prepared remarks. “When I ran ten years ago, it was because I saw civility diminishing in our national conversations, and I didn’t want that to happen here in North Dakota. I hope I have contributed to the atmosphere of respect and decorum in my time here, but I do feel civility and respect slipping — even here in North Dakota. Some days, even in the legislature.”

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