Eric Johnson of International Falls has announced his candidacy for the Minnesota House District 3A seat.

A life-long resident of northeastern Minnesota and a long-time International Falls business owner, Johnson held his first public town hall-style meet-and-greet as a candidate for the position Oct. 29. He announced his candidacy for the seat, now held by Rep. David Dill, DFL-Crane Lake, at the Northern Minnesota District Fair in Littlefork July 12 and has since been attending community events as he rolls out his “Vote Smart Vote Eric” campaign.

His message, he said in a statement, is about “smarter taxes, smarter government, smarter budgets, smarter schools and smarter uses of the region’s natural resources.”

The statement continued that on several occasions since announcing his candidacy in July, Johnson has commented “This is the land that I love. I always have and always will call it my home.”

Johnson owns International Dental Arts Inc. in International Falls. The lab manufactures dental appliances for dentists across Minnesota and elsewhere. Johnson said in the last 10 years the business has faced many challenges and the company has been able to overcome them through aggressive research and development, testing, and embracing new technologies to help the business run more efficiently.

“International Dental Arts remains relevant and competitive in an ever-changing industry facing stiff competition,” he said.

“I believe I can use these same principals to help make our state government run more efficiently also,” his statement continued. “Bigger, bloated, inefficient government means less freedoms for all of us. The mindless system of taxing to just throw the money down the black hole of bureaucracy has to end. We need to apply some common sense to St. Paul and how northern Minnesota is represented. We need more northern Minnesota can-do attitude in St. Paul and less big government St. Paul up here in the Arrowhead.”

Johnson also volunteers on the boards of several tourism and recreation-based, nonprofit organizations throughout the region.