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Luverne's Bill Weber throws hat in the ring for senate race

brian korthals/Daily Globe Former Luverne Mayor Bill Weber announced his candidacy for the District 22 Senate seat Tuesday. Weber said he was waiting to find out whether Sen. Doug Magnus planned to run again before making his decision. Magnus announced Monday he would not run for re-election.

LUVERNE -- Former Luverne Mayor Bill Weber announced Tuesday he will seek the Republican endorsement for the Senate District 22 seat to be vacated by Sen. Doug Magnus at the end of the term.

Weber referred to Magnus as a solid, conservative leader.

"Recognizing that loss and the need for continued strong leadership, I am announcing my candidacy for the Minnesota State Senate," Weber said.

Weber, who is no stranger to the political process, has helped with other campaigns and ran his own when he made a bid for the seat in 2006.

"Had (Magnus) run for re-election, I would not be doing this," Weber admitted. "I had a little advance notice from Doug of what he was thinking, but until he made his decision, I didn't know."

Weber and his wife had decided ahead of time that if Magnus did decide not to seek re-election, they would make the attempt.

Weber and the senator were in close contact during Magnus' years in government, Weber said. He thanked Magnus for his years of service.

"It is a great responsibility, and there will be tough tasks ahead," he admitted.

The issues, Weber believes, are clear -- jobs, the economy, government spending and tax reform. Within those issues lie the key to stable funding for education, health care, nursing home care and growth in the agriculture sector, as well as redevelopment of the business community and "creating an environment where our residents from young to old will wish to stay, work and prosper."

District 22 used to cover six counties and now reaches all or part of nine counties, which Weber said means a lot of new parades and new people with which to get acquainted.

I am prepared to serve the people in the state Senate," Weber said. "There are a lot of things that need change in the state government, and I plant to work for them."

Weber grew up on a farm in Rock County and has operated a local business for 36 years.

He served more than 16 years as a member of the Luverne City Council and mayor.

He graduated from Luverne High School in 1974, then attended Nettleton Business College, receiving a progressional accounting degree in 1976. He is the owner of Jensen Management Service Inc. and is a member of the American Society of Farm Managers and Real Estate Appraisers.

Weber is active in the Rock County Republican Party, serving as county chairman and finance director.

He is a senior active member in the Luverne Rotary Club and a member of St. John Lutheran Church, currently serving on its Board of Elders and as director of the senior choir.

He was elected to the Luverne City Council in 1984 and to the position of mayor in 1992 -- a position he held until 2001.

During his years as mayor and with the city council, he also served as president of the Luverne Economic Development Authority and was chairman of the Rock County Solid Waster Advisory Committee.