Joe Abeyta, of Grand Rapids, has announced his intentions to run for State Representative for District 5B in 2020. This seat is currently occupied by Rep. Sandy Layman, of Cohasset. District 5B covers most of Itasca County as well as a portion of Cass County.

“I’m a proud northern Minnesotan who moved to Grand Rapids in 2009, after 25 years in Arizona and a deployment in Iraq,” says Abeyta. “I fell in love with the Northland for its people, community and the beautiful environment, then I fell in love with my wife, Heidi Abeyta.”

The Abeytas have three children, ages three, seven and nine. They say they keep their home fun, loving and sometimes a little too loud.

“I am proud to be a heavy equipment operator with the IUOE Local 49,” explained Abeyta. “ I work in the construction industry building roads and infrastructure that our community uses every day, and I am very proud of my career as an operator.”

Abeyta currently serves on the La Prairie City Council and the Western Mesabi Mine Planning Board.

“Through these roles, I have seen the needs of our communities and the frustration that our neighbors are facing,” he said. “Our voice at the Capitol is one that should be addressing and encompassing everyone.”

Abeyta believes District 5B has been left behind in the past when it comes to the needs of sustainable roads, healthcare, education, job growth and economic development.

“We should never be placed on the bottom of a priority list because we are not as close to the metro as others,” said Abeyta of his motivation to run for office to represent District 5B.

“It is time we elect an official who best represents our district,” continued Abeyta. “As a veteran, heavy equipment operator, councilman, and most importantly, husband and father, I will not shy away from the real needs of our district. When you tell me you have an issue or concern, I can relate. I am not a lifetime politician. I am a working member of our community who wants to ensure that every member of our district has the opportunities to enjoy the life of the Northland that I love.”

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