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Fargo legislator facing DUI charge won’t run for re-election

FARGO – A longtime state representative from Fargo has decided not to pursue re-election, citing in part a pending drunken driving charge against him.

“But it was not the deciding factor,” said Scot Kelsh, a five-term Democrat.

Kelsh said he received a great deal of public support from both Democrats and Republicans in the wake of his Nov. 18 arrest on Class B misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence.

“You can be forgiven one error in judgment,” he said.

The time commitment required for service in the Legislature has required him to spend a great deal of time away from home and his work as a firefighter in Fargo, including taking significant vacation time to serve in Bismarck, he said.

Kelsh was first elected in 1996. He cited alliances with legislators on both sides of the aisle as having helped launch initiatives in property tax relief, wind energy, water projects, a Bank of North Dakota college savings program and wildlife habitats, among others.

Kelsh is continuing to fight the drunken driving charge against him in Cass County District Court.

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