Former State Senator John Howe announced he will seek the Republican Party endorsement for the office of Minnesota Secretary of State. Howe, also the former Mayor of Red Wing, has a long and successful career as a business owner, entrepreneur and public servant. He said maintaining election integrity is the most important function of the Secretary of State’s office.

“The Secretary of State’s office should not be used for partisan political advantage,” Howe said, “and I’m running to give Minnesotans the opportunity to keep their faith in the honesty and openness of the electoral process, which is the absolute bedrock of representative democracy.”

Howe’s background includes being raised on a family farm in western Minnesota, obtaining a degree in Criminal Justice from St. Cloud State University and working as corrections officer. He later became the owner of several Sears stores and rose to the chairmanship of the Sears Dealer Council, representing over 700 Sears stores nationwide. Howe’s business background will be a great asset to Minnesota.

“Government needs to operate at the speed of commerce,” Howe said, “The Secretary of State’s office does a great job of on-line and in person processing of business filings and I intend to continue to improve upon it.”

In 2008, Howe was elected Mayor of Red Wing, and in 2010 he was elected to the Minnesota State Senate. He is keenly involved in environmental issues, having been appointed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty to the Minnesota Clean Water Council, and serving since 2011 with the National Council of Environmental Legislators.

Howe and his wife, Lisa, live in Red Wing with their three children. He owns and operates a real estate management company.