ST. PETER — North Mankato City Councilor Kim Spears filed Tuesday to run as a Republican candidate for the state House District 19A race.
He will challenge DFL incumbent Rep. Clark Johnson of North Mankato, who won his first legislative race last year in a special election.
"In my experience, (Johnson) is very nice man. I think he's a worthy challenger," Spears said.
Spears said he considers himself a fiscal conservative with libertarian leanings on social issues. He said he has provided basic volunteer work on a large number of Republican campaigns. He said he volunteered for the recent election bids by former Rep. Allen Quist of St. Peter.
However, he said had not officially participated in a political campaign until his Tuesday filing.
He said he was motivated to run after witnessing the impact of the Minnesota Legislature's laws on small cities. He said he is still formulating his campaign platform but plans to focus on restraining state spending and opposing unfunded state mandates. He said he is also working on pulling together his campaign staff, though he said he plans to run "a lean campaign."
He works as a computer programmer for Dotson Iron Castings in Mankato. He previously worked as a programmer for Taylor Corporation and a now-defunct consulting firm in the Twin Cities. He also ran a motorcycle shop for several years when he lived in California.
He won his seat on the North Mankato City Council in 2012 after an unsuccessful bid in 2010. He has generated a reputation for being a bulldog on city spending during his time with the council.
District 19A covers Nicollet County and some of Lime Township in Blue Earth County.