Mike grew up on a small family-run dairy farm and knows the importance and value of hard work, honesty in word and deed, and working together as a community to meet common goals. Mike's mother taught elementary school for more than 40 years and his parents instilled in each of their six adopted children a love of learning and the desire to seek out creative, innovative solutions. Mike worked his way through college and law school, much of the time at a college dining facility and catering operation. Upon graduation he joined a Twin Cities law firm where he still works on civil and pro-bono cases. In 2008 Mike ran for the Minnesota House and beat a three-term incumbent. The district covers the town of Eagan, and used to be held by Tim Pawlenty. Mike knows the importance of strong, local communities. Mike is an active member of the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce and serves as the President of the non-profit corporation, Dakota Center for the Arts. He has repeatedly volunteered as a youth basketball coach, at the Eagan Art Festival and with his local church. Mike met his wife Sara on their first day of college and they've been together ever since. Married in 1993, they now live in Eagan with their two teenage sons, Greg and Aaron.