My life has shaped how I see the importance of community. I was born and raised in small-town southwestern Minnesota - in Adrian - and have lived most of my adult life in Spring Valley.

If you've also grown up in a small town, you know that people see generosity and compassion as virtues, and if they have neighbors in need, they'll pitch in to help.

These are values that I think are too rare in our current representation, and as your state representative I will bring these values of community to my work for the state.

As a registered nurse, I know the importance of taking care of the most vulnerable among us, but also the value of good, efficient systems for providing this care.

As a city councilman (since 2006), I understand the challenges local governments continuously face, just made worse by state cuts to cities and counties. Our strength is in our community, but our community can't be strong if it's being bled dry.

Through our church, I have gone on medical missions overseas, further making me realize the importance of systems of support and care, and critical role government plays in our lives.

As a parent of a college freshman (Taylor) and a second grader (Ellie), I know well the challenges our schools - and all of us who are parents - face. I could not have achieved what I have without the educational opportunities I've gotten, and in the Legislature I will fight to make sure our public education system - from pre-school through college - does not shortchange our children, or our future.

In our time, when politicians seem to subscribe to ridged national party ideology, my values are rooted in my life in small-town Minnesota, values of community, family, compassion, and the role of government in protecting us.

Tony Archer

Spring Valley