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Rep. Mark Mickelson opts out of running for governor in 2018

PIERRE (AP) — Republican state Rep. Mark Mickelson says he won't run for governor in 2018.

The lawmaker from Sioux Falls said Thursday that he was seriously looking at a bid, but decided that the sacrifice was too high.

Mickelson was elected Tuesday to serve a third term in the state House, where he hopes to be chosen to be speaker.

He says it's difficult to raise his sons if he's out campaigning. In a letter sent this week to supporters, Mickelson says he expects to refund contributions to his political action committee, which has raised nearly $1 million.

Mickelson's decision could buoy other Republicans thought to be eyeing a bid, including Attorney General Marty Jackley and U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem. Term limits bar Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard from entering the race.

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