Meet Mark


My wife Skyler and I live in East Grand Forks with our three children: Archer 10, Livley 8, and Cullen 6. Family means everything to us, and our roots in this community run very deep. Not only did we both grow up in the area, but our families have lived here for generations.

I grew up in Maple Lake, near Mentor, and graduated from Fertile-Beltrami High School.

After high school, I earned a degree in Finance and Economics from Bethel University, and a J.D. from the University of North Dakota and went to work as a Financial Analyst for IBM. As time went by, Skyler and I found that what we really wanted was to be back home.

And we’re glad we did! This is the only place in the world where Skyler and I feel good about raising our kids—among friends and family.

So now I am a partner with my father in Johnson Concrete Construction, a third generation family business, and a partner in a small law firm. I guess I like small business so much I decided to have two of them!

Skyler and I love living in a community with neighbors we know, and a history that our families helped shape. There is nothing quite like having “home” not just be a physical place where you sleep, but a community which generations of your family have helped create.

Too many of the people I grew up with, though, have left to find opportunities elsewhere, and I worry that unless we work to expand opportunities, my kids might too. Policymakers in St Paul might believe that centralization and urbanization make society easier to manage and direct, but I know that most of us cherish living not just in a place, but a community.

We need a strong voice in St Paul to remind folks there that Minnesota doesn’t begin at Rochester and end at St Cloud and Duluth. For too long Northwest Minnesota has been an afterthought for lawmakers. It is time to let the folks in St. Paul understand there is opportunity in our state right here.

That’s why I am running for State Senate. Together we will build a vibrant community that will be enjoyed for generations to come.