Rep. John Ward, DFL-Brainerd, announced Friday he will seek a fourth term in the Legislature and run for the House District 10A seat.
He said he seriously considered a run for the Senate District 10 seat but his heart told him to run for re-election to the House. The factors included what was best for him and his family, and his feeling he could do a better job with constituent services in the House.
“The best thing about this job is helping people,” Ward said.
The retired teacher and licensed insurance agent said job creation and building a strong middle class would continue to be his top priorities. He pointed to his membership in a bipartisan Small Business Caucus and his efforts to help the tourism industry and businesses.
Ward, 61, said he wants to improve schools by providing them with adequate funding. He has authored a bill to ensure owners of seasonal-recreational property pay their fair share in property taxes to help schools. Those properties formerly contributed more to school districts but the formula was changed during the administration of former Gov. Jesse Ventura.
“We’ve been trying to correct that injustice ever since,” Ward said.
He also is supporting the restoration of the Homestead Tax Credit and the use of Local Government Aid (LGA) to provide services to communities. He said the elimination of the credit and LGA reductions have pushed property taxes to record heights.
“Rising property taxes are a significant burden on small businesses, our middle class families, our poor people and our seniors,” he said.
He said he’ll continue his emphasis on constituent services and on working for compromise and bipartisanship.
Ward retired after 34 years as an educator and coach. He and his wife, Sally, have lived in Brainerd since 1987. He has four grown children and seven grandchildren.