Dennis Moser, a Clearbrook truck driver, wanted to run for something, so he chose neighbor Rod Skoe's Minnesota Senate seat.
"I never thought I'd ever be in politics," Moser, 63, told 90 Beltrami County Republican delegates at their convention Saturday morning at Northern Elementary School.
"But if we look and see what is taking place in our country," he said, adding he has 19 grandchildren from six children. "They don't have a chance. They don't have a chance to grow up knowing the liberty and the freedom that we have known."
Thinking where he could run to serve best, Moser said he settled on the Senate 2 seat now held by neighbor Skoe, a Democrat.
"Since Rod Skoe is my neighbor, I thought that would be a good place to start," he said.
Skoe, vice chairman of the Senate Taxes Committee, will be seeking his third term in the Senate after serving two terms in the Minnesota House. He farms and is a former school board member.
Moser is a native of Oregon, Ill., near the Dixon birthplace of the late President Ronald Reagan, with Moser's family friends with Reagan's family. Moser served in the Vietnam War. He served as a police officer in Dixon and then moved to Florida where he earned a two-year business degree and learned the heating and air conditioning trade.
He and his family live on a farm near Clearbrook and he drives a truck for a Mahnomen truck line.
Moser says he believes in the "original" U.S. Constitution and denies that it is a "living document."
"Our founders intended for the Constitution to be exactly what it said," he said, to a round of applause.
Individuals with conservative values must be willing to put themselves on the line, he said, and run for office.
"People are sick of politicians, they are sick of career people that have been in Washington -- Democrats and Republicans," Moser said, alluding he may have an advantage of never having sought elected office before.
"I am first and foremost a conservative," he said. "I believe God knows every individual human being from conception until natural death, and He doesn't expect us to take his position and say they don't deserve to live."
Also, Moser said he believes "marriage is between one man and one woman ... "
One can't separate fiscal conservatism from social conservatism, he said. "That might not be something popular to say, but if you're a fiscal conservative, how can you go along with your taxes being confiscated to pay for abortion? How can you go along with your taxes -- your money that you work for - being confiscated to pay for a sex change operation which is now considered to be medically necessary?
"Have you ever heard of anything so absurd?" he asked. "It's absolutely ridiculous to me that individuals think that I should pay my tax money so that they can participate in some type of perversion. I don't believe in that."
Senate 2 includes northern Beltrami County north of Bemidji and includes the Red Lake Reservation.