Minnesota public health, safety commissioners will not seek new terms

Newly reelected governor Tim Walz and lieutenant governor Peggy Flanagan announced on Wednesday several vacancies and reappointment for cabinet positions, including commissioner of health and commissioner of public safety.

According to the announcement, commissioner of health Jan Malcolm has chosen not to seek reappointment. Malcolm served in her position from 1999 to 2003, was appointed again by governor Mark Dayton in January 2018, and then reappointed by Walz in 2019.

"Working with governor Walz and his team to help Minnesota navigate the COVID-19 pandemic was the most challenging and meaningful work I’ve done in my career, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve," Malcolm said in a statement. "Public health at its best has the power to save lives and lift-up communities, and this isn’t the work of any one person or organization. We all owe a debt of gratitude to the thousands of unsung public health heroes in federal, state, and local health departments who are building a better, healthier future for their neighbors and their communities."

Commissioner of public safety John Harrington has also chosen not to seek reappointment. Harrington was largely tasked with overseeing the state’s response to the unrest of the George Floyd riots. He was appointed by Walz in January 2019. 

Commissioner of Education Dr. Heather Mueller will also not seek reappointment. 

Both Walz and Flanagan thanked all cabinet members for their years of leadership in the announcement, saying, "I’m grateful to our entire cabinet for their years of service to Minnesota. Together, we made historic investments in education, achieved the lowest unemployment rate of any state in history, and protected the health and safety of Minnesotans."

Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan also announced the following reappointments:  
• Commissioner of administration Alice Roberts-Davis 
• Commissioner of agriculture Thom Petersen 
• Commissioner of commerce Grace Arnold 
• Commissioner of corrections Paul Schnell 
• Commissioner of employment and economic development Steve Grove 
• Commissioner of higher education Dennis Olson 
• Commissioner of housing Jennifer Leimaile Ho 
• Commissioner of human rights Rebecca Lucero 
• Commissioner of human services Jodi Harpstead 
• Commissioner of management and budget Jim Schowalter 
• Commissioner of information technology services Tarek Tomes 
• Commissioner of mediation services Johnny Villarreal 
• Commissioner of natural resources Sarah Strommen 
• Commissioner of pollution control Katrina Kessler 
• Commissioner of transportation Nancy Daubenberger 
• Commissioner of veterans affairs Larry Herke