Posted at: 11/19/2012 10:55 PM
Updated at: 11/20/2012 4:55 PM
By: Dayna Landgrebe
After 26 years in office, Minnesota Representative Tom Rukavina is retiring. On Monday night, his colleagues got a chance to give the well-known firebrand a friendly razzing of their own.
It was a packed house at the Mt. Iron Community Center for a roast on Rukavina, with plenty of political power from across the state. But the atmosphere was a friendly, reminiscent one.
Governor Mark Dayton said Rukavina has always been someone to speak from his convictions.
"[You speak] from your heart and your soul. All of us and all of Minnesota are better people because of you being there and what you did," Dayton said.
Dayton also threw in a couple of his own remarks about Rukavina's reputation for often saying exactly what's on his mind.
"For someone who claims he never thought about what he was going to say until he said it, most of it came out remarkably well. Most of it," Dayton said.
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and Rukavina's daughter, Ida Rukavina, were among other speakers who took the podium on Monday night.
"My dad is one of the kindest, most loving fathers a girl could ever have. He's got a heart of gold and would do just about anything to help most people. He'd give the shirt off his back...it just won't fit most people," she joked.
Rukavina was elected to his Virginia seat in 1986. He also currently sits as Chair of the IRRRB, a position he'll hold until the end of the year.
Rukavina gave his retirement notice in May, and said he's excited to be spending more time with his family. The 6B seat will see a new face in January.
Jason Metsa (DFL) won the Nov. 6 election for Rukavina's current seat.
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