Former Scott County Commissioner Bob Vogel Friday announced his candidacy for the District 20A seat in the Minnesota House, a spot now held by Rep. Kelby Woodard, R-Belle Plaine.

Woodard, who has served two terms in the House, announced Monday that he won't seek re-election.

Vogel, a longtime Elko New Market banker, says he wants to ensure fiscal responsibility at the state level.

"My focus in the legislature will mirror those of when I served on the Scott County Board which is to restrain taxes and spending as much as possible, adhere to and protect our constitution and the rights included in it and ensue that government expenditures are done with integrity and respect to protect the taxpayer's interests from whom they were received," he said in a press release.

Vogel, a New Prague High School graduate, served as a commissioner from 2002 to 2008. He was one of the original organizers of the New Market Volunteer Fire Department and served as secretary for most of his 16 years as a volunteer. He also has served as district governor for Lions International and has chaired a number government and private entities including the Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Commission, and the Independent Bankers of Minnesota. Since leaving the Scott County board in 2008 he has helped lead Economic Development initiatives in Scott, and is currently Vice Chair of the Fairview Ridges Hospital Board. He also was trustee of St Nicholas Church in New Market, New Market City Treasurer, member of the New Prague Area Schools PER and Superintendent Search Committees. He has received chamber business person of the year awards and in 2001 earned the Business Excellence Award in Community Service from the University of St. Thomas.

"After more than three decades of working closely with families and small business on their financial needs, I appreciate the challenges people face when it comes to balancing their budgets and providing for their families," Vogel said. "While a Scott County commissioner I became known by the local paper as the budget watchdog because I studied the issues, became familiar with how it would affect taxpayers, spoke my mind, and then voted accordingly, even if nearly everyone was not in agreement. In the Minnesota Legislature I intend to approach things in the same manner. I'm concerned that if we don't immediately address an uncompetitive tax environment, reign in overbearing regulation, and provide a positive job climate, our children and grandchildren will not have the chance to enjoy the same lifestyle which our great state and nation has allowed me."

Vogel and his wife, Laura, have two daughters and two granddaughters.

"Having been blessed with a wonderful family, the upbringing and surroundings of great community, and the chance to be the president of a local community bank for over 30 years, I feel it is time for me to give back by offering my time and talents to represent the area which gave me that opportunity," he said.

Reach Regional Managing Editor Suzanne Rook at 507-931-8567. Follow her on Twitter @rooksuzy

Reach Regional Managing Editor Suzanne Rook at 507-333-3134. Follow her on Twitter @rooksuzy

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