Getting to know Me

Thank you for electing me as your State Representative serving the communities of Blaine and Lexington . We all know that there has to be a change in Saint Paul and I am working very hard to be your voice of change.

I ran for office because my children are grown and I want to give back to the community, and the state, that has given me and my family so much. I want to bring a business approach to the issues when I am at the capital in Saint Paul.  It took a great deal of effort and dedication to win this race, and with your help we did it!

Thank you for getting to know me. I really appreciate it.

American Military University, West Virginia
BA Emergency and Disaster Management
Certified ICS 300, 400 and graduated Suma Cum Laude with a 4.0 GPA

In 2016 I graduated at the age of 51. It was a life-long goal of mine to one day finish college.  I started taking classes when I was in the Army, but then life, work, marriage, and children were more important to me. As time went on I really wanted to finish what I started.  It took me almost 33 years to do it, but I graduated. And I paid for it one class at a time. It took some long nights and weekends, but I did it. Walking across that stage was one of the proudest days of my life.

National Command Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
In-Resident Commander’s Course
I am a volunteer in the United States Air Force Auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Going to Maxwell and studying with some of the brightest minds in CAP was a real highlight of my life. The school taught me about leadership and command at the national level working with Colonels and Lieutenant Colonels from all over the country. Their insight has been an inspiration to me.

Osceola High School, Wisconsin
I started Osceola Elementary School and graduated from Osceola High School in 1984. I have life long friends that were in kindergarten with me all the way to graduation day.  My best friend Larry Rogers and I even joined the Army together and jointly went to Basic Training at Fort Benning, Georgia. We graduated as Infantrymen, 11B.

Evolve Systems, President
Founded in 2003
A successful small business owner with 17+ years experience running a multi-million-dollar digital marketing agency in Saint Paul that I founded along with my wife, Marnie Ochs-Raleigh.

We have served hundreds of customers across the United States with many of them being right here in Minnesota.  I approach running my business with a no-nonsense approach to working with companies that serve our communities. We have worked with companies that range from small, local chiropractors to large national companies. Our focus has always been to be servant leaders and to keep our clients’ best interests in mind. Many of our partners have become our friends. That is the way business is supposed to be.

Control Data, Senior Consultant
As a Minnesota icon, Control Data gave me the opportunity to work nation-wide with some of the most innovative companies in the world. That experience was invaluable when it came time to start my own company. It offered me the opportunity to be on the ground floor of innovation during the inception of the Internet as a business platform.

United State Army – Nearly 8 years Active Duty
Served as an escort to President Reagan and as a non-Commissioned Military Intelligence Officer stationed on the former East German border as a Linguist (Russian) Interrogator.

As a member of America’s Regiment, the Third United States Infantry (The Old Guard) I was assigned first to Charlie Company and then earned a posting with Echo (Honor Guard) Company as a Sentinel at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. While I did not earn my tomb badge, I am still humbled to this day by the experience of honoring those that paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our great nation.

While with Honor Guard Company I performed internments at Arlington National Cemetery where I had the sacred duty of laying to rest hundreds of my brothers and sisters who faithfully served in the United States Army.

I met my wife, Marnie, while I was home on leave from Germany.  She was the guest book attendant at my sister Cathie’s wedding. My parents and her parents were friends, but due to my military service and postings overseas, I had never met her before. I took one look at her and instantly fell in love.

I asked her her name, and then quickly ducked downstairs in search of my mom.  I had to tell her that I had met the girl I was going to marry. I found her in the dressing room with my sister who was getting ready for her big day.  I interrupted the party just to tell my mom about this girl. I told my mother about her and her reaction was, “But she’s such a nice girl!”

I asked Marnie to go out with me that night, but our schedules did not work out until the next weekend. I met her on a Friday night. We went out for a burger at Fudruckers and then I brought her back to her house. We walked into the house and sat down on the couch and it was then and there that I asked her to marry me.  We had been together for just a couple of hours.

She said yes.

I had to leave for Germany 2 days later, but during that time we laughed and talked about what our future would be like.  It was an amazing time. Once I was back at my station on the East German Border we wrote to each other every day.  I saved up enough money to buy her a plane ticket to come and see me and when she arrived three months later I whisked her away to Denmark where we eloped.  After a brief honeymoon in the Austrian Alps, she returned to Minnesota and I started the paperwork to bring her back to live with me.

Then the Gulf War erupted, I was deployed in support of our actions overseas, and I did not see my new bride until after the war. It was a very difficult year.

We have now been married for almost 32 years and we have four children. All of them graduated from Centennial High School.

Shaine works in the medical device industry.
Donny works in the digital marketing industry.
Zophia works in the high tech industry.
Izabella works in the high tech industry.

I could not be more proud of my family and all that they represent to me.  It is because of their faith and support that I ran to be a State Representative in Minnesota, and with their support I am seeking re-election.

I believe that Jesus Christ is my Lord and personal savior and that because of my faith in Him I will one day join Him in heaven.

It is as simple as that.

My Promise

I will represent our community

Getting to Saint Paul is not the end goal of getting elected.  Getting things done for our community and state is.  The only way to get things done is to work with my caucus, and my leadership, in a way that moves our overall agenda forward.

And that also means working with those that are not in our caucus. It means finding the common ground that is needed to craft good legislation.

For many of you who I have talked to in person, on the phone, or over email, I will reach out to you and ask for your guidance and wisdom.  I am asking you to vote for me to represent you, and that means your opinion matters.  I want to hear it, even when it means it will be a tough conversation.

Being a true bridge builder means working with everyone on the team. It does not mean sacrificing my morals or giving up my principles. It does mean that I will look for things that make us all better together and not the things that divide us.