Little Falls City Council President Mike LeMieur this week announced his candidacy for the District 12B seat in the Minnesota Legislature. He'll seek the Republican endorsement for the seat now held by Rep. Al Doty, DFL-Royalton.
He said rural communities face many challenges and he believed his experience and background would help him represent the people of Morrison and Crow Wing counties.
LeMieur, who is completing his first term on the council, said he wants to reduce the tax load on working families and end taxpayer funding of abortions.
"I'm a pro-life person and I want to stand up and fight for the unborn," the Little Falls native said.
In his announcement statement he said he believes in the right to life for every person from conception to death. He said in a phone interview that an exception might be made if the life of the mother was endangered. LeMieur said he will vote for pro-life leadership and author pro-life legislation.
The owner of Home Furnace Co. of Little Falls, LeMieur said higher taxes and government regulation slow the economy and out of control health insurance costs eat into the bottom line of families and employers.
He didn't list specific state programs he wanted to cut or eliminate but said the tax load could probably be cut by reducing state income taxes, cutting unneeded spending and reducing the size of government.
"If you reduce the tax load on working families and businesses, then you will create jobs and that will produce revenues," he said.
LeMieur, 39, and his wife, Julie, have three elementary school-age children (Elijah, Isaac and Nicholas) and he said he wants to end the inequities that result in metropolitan area districts receiving thousands of dollars more per pupil than rural districts.
LeMieur said the number of school referendums that have been offered lately is evidence that Minnesota schools are under-funded.
The Little Falls Republican is an 18-year veteran of the Little Falls Fire Department, where he currently serves as captain. After high school he studied plumbing at a Wadena technical school and studied to be an emergency medical technician at a St. Cloud technical school. He said his licensure as an EMT has since lapsed.
He and his family are members of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Little Falls.
LeMieur said he'll run an issue-oriented, positive campaign.
Doty, the incumbent District 12B lawmaker, was elected in 2006 and is completing his first term.
Tony Wenzel is listed as chair of the Mike LeMieur Volunteer Committee with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.
MIKE O'ROURKE may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5860.
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