For the second time in nearly 30 years, Jack Considine is hoping that he won’t work on an electoral campaign this fall.

That’s because, if all goes as planned, he’ll be mayor of Mankato and too busy to help local Democrats get elected, as he has every other year since 1978. The only other election he missed was in 1980, while he was attending college in Georgia.

“I’m assuming that, this year, I’m going to be a little busy,” he said.

Considine, 51, has the most political experience of the eight candidates running for mayor.

His political life began in 1978, when he joined his father’s failed Congressional campaign. That’s where he met his future wife, Kristine Madsen, and continued throughout the next few decades to work on the campaigns of prominent DFLers such as John Hottinger and John Dorn.

He took various Democratic posts in the 1990s, but “never aspired” to public office until 1998, when he ran unopposed for the City Council. He chose to run then because he had more free time after his children outgrew the youth sports he coached.

Considine won his next election, in 2002, with more than two-thirds of the vote.

He says he wants to be mayor because of the two other roles that the title affords — the mayor is the presiding officer at meetings and is the ceremonial head of the city.

Considine said he’d like to see rules of order followed more strictly and would use the “bully pulpit” as mayor to promote Mankato. Recent mayors, he said, have been effective because of their devotion to such advocacy.

As a child in a military family, he didn’t live in one place for very long. He was born in Topeka, Kan., and attended nine schools before graduating from high school in Macon, Ga.

Poor eyesight ruled out a continuation of his family’s military lineage dating back to the Civil War, where his great-great-grandfather fought and died. His eyes didn’t disqualify him entirely, of course, but from the only position that mattered.

“Growing up in my family, there were pilots and everybody else,” he says.

He chose to study sociology instead, and earned his degree from the University of Georgia in Athens in 1981.

Considine and his wife, who is from Mapleton, looked around the country for places to live, but “decided there really wasn’t a better place to raise children.”

He worked at a hospital for six years, then moved to his current job as programs coordinator at the Blue Earth County jail.

That job, he says, ranges from rewarding — when he gets a chance to help someone — to routine, when he confronts the ever-increasing paperwork load.

“Occasionally, I get a chance to help somebody,” he says. “I gave up the notion long ago that I can change anybody.”

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