The Potluck

State Rep. Tony Albright resigns following anti-abortion comments

By: - August 2, 2022 4:26 pm

Rep. Tony Albright, R-Prior Lake, resigned from his seat Tuesday. Photo by Andrew VonBank. Courtesy of Minnesota House Public Information Services.

Minnesota state Rep. Tony Albright, R-Prior Lake, resigned on Tuesday from his seat that represents the exurbs southwest of Minneapolis. The announcement comes just days after he faced backlash about anti-abortion comments he made. 

Albright, who represented District 55B for a decade, said earlier this year that he wouldn’t seek re-election. The district changed significantly after 2020 redistricting, and most of his prior constituency now lives in the new District 54B. 

During an interview on Wrong About Everything, a Minnesota politics podcast, Albright said he opposed abortion, even in the case of rape and incest. When the interviewer asked about the recent case in which a 10-year-old rape victim traveled from Ohio to Indiana to receive an abortion, he said children in this situation should be forced to give birth. He also cast doubt on the story, even though a man was recently charged with raping the girl. 

“I think, you know, abortion is horrific,” Albright said. 

“So you believe that that 10-year-old child in Ohio should be required to bring that baby to term?” the interviewer Javier Morillo asked.

“Interesting that you bring that up because that instance has not been corroborated,” Albright replied. 

Albright insisted further a few minutes later. 

“And so you believe that the 10-year-old should be required to, should be forced to carry that child to term? And give birth?” Morillo said. 

“In this case, yes,” he replied. 

Albright faced widespread criticism for the comments. He didn’t mention the comments in his resignation announcement. 

“It has been an honor and privilege of a lifetime to serve Prior Lake, Jordan, and surrounding townships in House District 55B for the last ten years,” Albright wrote. “I have been blessed beyond measure.”

During his time in office, Albright led the House Human Services and Finance and Policy Committee. He also co-authored a bipartisan law passed early this year meant to improve public safety by providing mental health services to criminal defendants deemed incompetent to stand trial. 

Albright’s resignation will take effect August 5. It will not trigger a special election, since the Legislature will not be in session before this year’s election. 

District 55B does not have a Republican or Democratic primary this year. In November, Republican candidate Van Holston, a Robbinsdale resident and lawyer, will face state Rep. Kaela Berg, a labor activist. 

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Baylor Spears
Baylor Spears

Baylor Spears is a reporting intern with the Minnesota Reformer. A Tennessee-native, she recently graduated from Northwestern University.