MANKATO — When Mankato native Joe Steck was 5 years old, he wanted to either be an insurance agent, a dentist or the governor of Florida.
He didn't quite make it to Florida, but Steck hopes to represent the Mankato area in the Minnesota Legislature starting next year.
Steck, the 55-year-old publisher of the online newsblog mankatotimes.com, announced his candidacy as a Republican contender for House District 19B Thursday afternoon.
That seat is held by Rep. Jack Considine, DFL-Mankato.
Steck said he'd like to bring a nonpartisan viewpoint to the Legislature and truly reflect the Mankato community's will at the state level. He hopes to work across party lines if elected to make government work better for Minnesotans.
"I’ve had a firsthand look at how government works," Steck said. "It’s not efficient, and people around here want it to be efficient."
Steck's top priority would be to visit with Mankato officials, local colleges and area businesses to develop community priorities at the state level. He's also interested in drug-sentencing reform and working with agriculture groups to provide more local produce for state veterans hospitals.
Steck is a Minnesota State University graduate and a former financial planner, insurance agent and salesman. He retired from the insurance industry due to health reasons and started mankatotimes.com five years ago.