Longest serving North Dakota lawmaker announces retirement

March 9, 2022

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – One of the longest-serving state lawmakers in the country is retiring from the North Dakota Legislature.

Republican Sen. Ray Holmberg, of Grand Forks, was first elected in 1976. He is the most experienced legislator in the state and is tied as the longest-serving state senator in the U.S. with Democratic South Carolina Sen. Nikki Setzler, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The 79-year-old Holmberg said it was a difficult decision based on medical issues that “do not afford me the cognitive ability to accurately perform the work required and expected” to represent his constituents.

Holmberg chairs the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, which writes state agency budgets.