Small business owner and second term state legislator joins ticket

(Woodbury, MN) – Republican candidate for Governor Mary Giuliani Stephens today announced she has selected Browns Valley Republican State Representative Jeff Backer to join her campaign as Lieutenant Governor. The Stephens-Backer ticket will be seeking endorsement at the June 2 Republican Party convention in Duluth.

“From leading the fight against the Dayton administration’s excessive buffer strip regulations to standing strong for seniors, rural hospitals, veterans, our Second Amendment rights and protection of the unborn, Jeff Backer is a hard-working champion of the farmers, families and small business owners of Greater Minnesota,” said Stephens.

Backer, 51, is a lifelong resident of western Minnesota and currently serves as vice-chair of the House Agriculture Policy Committee in addition to serving on the Environment and Natural Resources Policy & Finance and Health & Human Services Finance Committees.

“It’s been 12 years since Republicans won a statewide election. During that time, our state has changed, our politics have changed, but our candidates haven’t. Mary Giuliani Stephens is the fresh face our party needs and I am honored to join her ticket. I look forward to working shoulder-to-shoulder with her to provide the new solutions and bold leadership Minnesotans deserve from their next Governor and Lieutenant Governor,” said Backer.

Backer is serving his second term representing Big Stone, Douglas, Grant, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and Wilkin counties in House District 12A. A small business owner with 14 employees, Backer graduated from St. Cloud State University with degrees in Chemistry and Public Administration. He and his wife Judy have been married 24 years and have one daughter, Brittany.

Backer is a former member of Browns Valley School Board and Browns Valley City Council, and served three terms as Mayor of Browns Valley. Backer also served on the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training and has been a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician since 1995. He is a member of the Browns Valley Lions Club and for the last 16 years has taught Christian education to fifth and sixth graders at Zion Lutheran Church, where he is an active member.

“Jeff has deep knowledge of state and local government, education, health care, transportation and agriculture through his service as a legislator, city council member, mayor, school board member and long-time volunteer Emergency Medical Technician. Jeff is a valuable addition to our ticket and I am excited to partner with him to bring our positive, can-do message to all four corners of Minnesota,” said Stephens.

Paid for by Mary for Minnesota Governor • P.O. Box 25915 • Woodbury, MN 55125