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SIOUX CITY | Rick Bertrand, a Republican state senator from Sioux City who has served eight years in Iowa Legislature, announced Tuesday he would not seek re-election in 2018.

"It has been a good run. I feel like I've accomplished a lot for Northwest Iowa," Bertrand said.

Bertrand in a Journal interview said he's always believed people should not rack up long tenures in legislative chambers, so he has said he would probably only serve two four-year terms. Bertrand said he is holding to that, so he'll be back fulltime with his family in 2019.

"This is what legislators should do, jump in, jump out...There is a temptation to run again. But it's time to come home. It should not be a surprise to anyone," he said.

Bertrand said he's proud of his work on enterprise zone legislation and getting funding to complete a modernization of U.S. Highway 20 in Northwest Iowa, which came courtesy of more revenues from a 10-cent increase in the state gas tax.

Bertrand recalled he was an upstart businessman when he ran for the Iowa Senate seat in 2010.

"I was part of the Tea Party, someone who had never been elected before," he said.

The filing period for legislative candidates ends Friday. Bertrand said he waited so close to the deadline for Republican leaders to find a Senate candidate. He said he hopes a candidate comes forward in the next three days.

Bertrand may become a candidate again for a non-legislative office. He lost a bid to defeat Iowa 4th District Congressman Steve King, a fellow Republican, in 2016.

Bertrand said he could run for the 4th District again, depending upon King's upcoming decisions, or the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors or Sioux City mayor.

"You will probably see my name on a ballot again sometime soon," he said.


County and education reporter

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