By Ryan Gueningsman
DELANO, MN Walking across River Street in downtown Delano to River’s Edge Park Wedneday night, Tom Emmer, with his family at his side, announced he will be seeking the Congressional seat representing Minnesota’s sixth district.
An announcement last week by incumbent Rep. Michele Bachmann that she will not be running next fall spurred the former Independence and Delano city council member, state representative, and gubernatorial candidate’s decision.
“The announcement by Congresswoman Bachmann last week certainly caught us all by surprise,” Emmer said.
He said the sixth district has had a history of strong representation, and recognized both Bachmann and former representative Mark Kennedy.
“Over the last week, I have been humbled by you the many friends, activists, former colleagues, and staff that have reached out to encourage me to run for Congress,” Emmer said. “Conversations have been great. Especially since most of you asked, what does Jacquie think?”
Emmer said the decision to run for US representative was a team decision, and that he and Jacquie have had “thorough and thoughtful” discussions on Emmer again running for office. He lost a photo finish 2010 gubernatorial race to Mark Dayton.
“After careful consideration and discussion with our children, Jacquie and I are thrilled to announce that I am entering the race for Congress to serve the people of the sixth Congressional district in the state of Minnesota,” Emmer told the crowd that had gathered in between bursts of rain.
He said the decision was not made lightly.
“As we know firsthand, family and friends make all kinds of sacrifices during a campaign,” Emmer said.
However, he said, when he looks at the direction he feels the country is taking, the choice for him to run becomes apparent.
“I have never felt more compelled in my life to serve,” Emmer said. “It seems like every day we hear about another out-of-control Washington DC power grab.”
He said, during the last five years of recession, Americans have been asking tough questions, and are wondering why Washington struggles with basic math, common sense, and the concept of right and wrong.
“Recent polls show one in five Americans do not trust government to do what’s right,” he said. “I’m running for Congress to change the culture in Washington and restore American’s trust in our government.”
Emmer said he will focus his campaign on a positive message.
“You’ve gotta run for something, not against people,” he said. “I’m going to run on a message of reforming Washington and improving the lives of everyday people.
Reports note Emmer will no longer be heard on the “Davis and Emmer” show on KTCN AM 1130, as he will focus on traveling within the sixth district, visiting with the people he hopes to represent.
“Join us to bring the spirit of Main Street to Washington,” Emmer said.
Rep. Joe McDonald of Delano introduced Emmer, and said he met the Emmers about 15 years ago and thought that Emmer would be great in public office.
About Tom Emmer
Emmer and his wife, Jacqueline are the proud parents of seven children Tripp, Jack, Bobby, Katie, Joey, Billy, and Johnny.
Born in South Bend, IN in 1961, to Tom and Patsy Emmer, Tom was raised in Edina as a member of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, attended Our Lady Of Grace Catholic grade school, and graduated from St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights.
Emmer received his juris doctor from William Mitchell College of Law in 1988, and a bachelor of arts in political science from University of Alaska at Fairbanks in 1984.
He played hockey at Boston College, in the USHL, and at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks with then Assistant Coach Don Lucia.
Emmer is active in the community as a member of the Delano Sportsmen’s Club, and is a past president of the Delano Area Sports Arena. He is also a member of the Delano Catholic Community and the Knights of Columbus.
Professionally, Emmer has represented insurance companies and self-insured entities for almost 20 years.
He began his career representing cities and counties through the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust and the League of Minnesota Counties Insurance Trust, where he defended police officers against excessive force claims.
From 1994 to 2004, Emmer served on city councils in Independence, then in Delano.
Emmer was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2004, and re-elected in 2006 and 2008.