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Sen. Brent Hoffman will not seek reelection

Sen. Brent Hoffman
Johnny Sundby Photography
Legislative Research Council
Sen. Brent Hoffman

Hartford Republican Senator Brent Hoffman has announced he will not seek office in the upcoming election cycle.

Taking office in 2023, Hoffman said he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of future runs.

While his tenure was brief, Hoffman hung his legislative hat on issues ranging from school safety, the legal system, and advocating for term limits.

He said a lot of thought has gone into his decision.

“I have always served one term, always run against incumbents, try to make a difference, then move on to do something else," Hoffman said. "I try to make things better as best I can, but don’t want to stay past my welcome either.”

Truth in sentencing, which hardens sentencing for violent offenses at a cost of over $21 million to the state, is perhaps his trademark piece of legislation.

“That bill in particular, I think will be five to 10 years before we see the long-term effects of it," Hoffman said. "Another one I was proud of was starting a good conversation about nuclear energy in our state. Looking for some clean energy options at a lower cost. I still am involved in issues that are more of a populist nature, like term limits are very important to me personally and a lot of people I talk to every day, my constituents.”

While instrumental in passing some bills, Hoffman said he wishes his efforts to enhance school safety measures were more successful.

“I hear about it from parents all the time, from students, and from many, many teachers. I had three proposals this last session – only one was able to get through, but it concerns me I was not able to push through a policy of simple things like requiring schools to lock their doors," Hoffman said. "Requiring schools to centrally report violent threats.”

For now, Hoffman says he plans to return to his previous career as a writer.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture