Look who's running for the MN State Legislature

January 19, 2024
Dr. Steve Gander

We have some exciting news for the New Year – our Past President Dr. Steve Gander is running for the MN Legislature!  This would be such a great opportunity to have the voice of Optometry heard at the State Capitol – from an Optometrist!

This bid has just begun, and we will certainly be keeping everyone informed of things.  We will certainly be doing all we can to raise financial support for his campaign.  If you live or work in this legislative district please lend your support and we will let everyone know once we have more details and information about the campaign.  We greatly appreciate Steve’s willingness to further serve his State and his profession!
Dr. Steve Gander, Optometrist in East Grand Forks and Crookston, announced Monday he will be seeking the Republican endorsement for House District 01B, currently represented by Rep. Deb Kiel who recently announced her plans not to run for reelection this fall.
“For over a decade, Representative Kiel dedicated herself to the cause of bringing our values and priorities to St. Paul.  The work she has done and the progress she has made for families, agriculture, fiscal accountability, education, and personal responsibility are worth preserving and building upon.  If elected, it will be my goal to do exactly that, according to the preferences of the people I will serve”.
Gander has served as Mayor of East Grand Forks for the past eight years.  He previously served as Council Member at Large.  Other past service includes Chair of the East Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce, President of the Minnesota Optometric Association, and service on his local church council.  Gander attended school in East Grand Forks, the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, and the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1987.
In the coming months, Gander looks forward to learning more about priorities and opportunities while meeting folks throughout the district.  Gander believes the role of an elected official is serving people, not the other way around.  His priorities are public health and safety, education, public infrastructure including roads and bridges, elimination of excessive regulation that stagnates business growth, elimination of wasteful spending and its associated excessive taxation, and strengthening public recreation areas.  Gander is a strong proponent of Second Amendment rights.
Gander believes that Minnesota’s economic base of agriculture and ag-related businesses will continue to expand and provide excellent employment opportunities for our residents.  Growth in manufacturing and engineering will continue to be strong.  Education is a high priority in preparing our youth for the future, and our schools provide many excellent jobs today.  Healthcare across our state is excellent and offers many great careers.  And tourism, with our many lakes, rivers, trails, and wildlife areas, will see good growth in the years ahead.  In some parts of our state, mining is a big part of what makes the economy strong.  All these areas can be strengthened by good government policy, but all can be crippled by onerous government regulations and excessive taxation.
Gander lives in East Grand Forks.  He and his wife Rosalynd have been married for 34 years.  They have two grown sons, Tom and John, a daughter-in-law Bailey, and two grandchildren. In his free time, he enjoys running marathons, singing, hunting, fishing, kayaking, snowmobiling, scuba diving, woodworking, and riding motorcycle.  Gander is a die-hard Vikings fan.  He also enjoys other professional and amateur sports.
“In 1975, the group Northern Light recorded the song ‘Minnesota’.  If you want to recall what you love about our state, go back and listen to that song.  It starts out, ‘Minnesota—I can almost smell the air.  I can feel her hand, and my feet in the sand, in the lakes under trees back home…’  Let’s make this the kind of place we can be proud of—with great opportunities for people of all ages.”

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