A Mankato businessman new to statewide politics is hoping to unseat Minnesota House 19B DFL Representative Jack Considine in the fall election.

Mankatotimes.com publisher Joe Steck is seeking the Republican endorsement for the seat, which includes the Cities of Eagle Lake, Mankato and Skyline as well as Mankato Township.

He said ten years ago he wouldn’t have considered running for office, but that changed when he came down with a chronic illness because, “For two-and-a-half years, I saw 35 different doctors from throughout the world because they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.”

More frustrating than the myriad of doctor visits, though, was the state of both health care and government red tape. “When I needed to get help, when I turned to the government, I had to go to three different buildings – not in one little block, but across town – to get accounts established. That is so inefficient,” he explained.

After a misdiagnosis, Steck eventually underwent a triple bypass heart surgery in October. Following his release from Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System, though, Steck battled bureaucracy in attempting to get follow-up treatment close to home. He said his health has returned and he feels better than he has in a decade.

To solve both problems, the health care mess and government inefficiency, Steck said lawmakers have to be willing to compromise because, “Moving government is not easy, it’s a big machine, and you have to have people on both sides of the aisle working together and I think I can do that.”

Steck added that over the past five years reporting on local news he has forged a number of great working relationships with local schools, businesses, non-profits and residents as well as organizations from throughout the region, which will help him get things done to better the community and Minnesota.