Fargo legislator, charged with DUI, says he’ll retire


By Rob Port | Watchdog.org North Dakota Bureau

LEGAL LIMBO: Rep. Scot Kelsh, D-Fargo, says he’s not running for re-election citing legal issues.

FARGO, N.D. — After a DUI arrest, Rep. Scot Kelsh, a Fargo-area Democrat representing District 11, says he will not seek re-election in November.

“Not stating any reasons at this time,” he told Watchdog.org in a Facebook response. “I’ll just say that it is time to move on. Some things in legal limbo.”

Kelsh pleaded not guilty after his arrest last November on charges that he was driving under the influence of alcohol. A hearing on a motion to suppress evidence in the case is scheduled for March 3.

The case was the second alcohol-related driving offense involving a state lawmaker in 2013. Sen. Joe Miller, R-Park River, was arrested for driving under the influence and having an open container. Ultimately, Miller pleaded guilty to both charges.

After Miller’s arrest, Senate Minority Leader Mac Schneider, D-Grand Forks, called for his resignation. Miller , who won’t face a ballot challenge until 2016, said he would continue to serve his district.

There have been no public calls for Kelsh to resign before his term ends this year.

Kelsh, who has served in the Legislature since 1996, is the fourth Fargo-area legislator to announce his intention to retire. He joins Senator Tony Grindberg, R-Fargo, Rep. Joe Heilman, R-Fargo, and Rep. Al Wieland, R-Fargo.

Contact Rob Port at rport@watchdog.org.

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