Local business owner Regina Barr to run for House 52B seat

On Monday, Feb. 15, Regina Barr of Inver Grove Heights announced she is running for the Minnesota House seat in District 52B and seeking the Republican Party endorsement.

Longtime incumbent Joe Atkins, an Inver Grove Heights DFLer, is retiring from the District 52B seat in order to run for the Dakota County Board of Commissioners this year.

Barr said for the past several years she has been looking at things taking place in the state and the impact it has on the community.

“I was always looking at them [state legislators] and saying, ‘Why aren’t they doing something about this?’ Then I finally decided it was time to put my money where my mouth is and throw my hat in the ring,” Barr said. 

Barr said she has a unique blend of skills including leadership experience in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. In 2003 she launched Red Ladder, Inc., a corporate consulting and executive coaching firm.

Barr said she has served on local boards, as an education chair on an international professional association and was president of an international professional association.

Currently, she serves on the boards of the Breast Cancer Education Association and Minnesota Excellence in Public Service.

She referred to herself as a “make it happen kind of gal.” Barr said she is able to “see the big picture and drill down into the tactics of what needs to be done” to make things happen.

“I think I am a very strong communicator and great listener. I think sometimes it’s being able to do that and sift through the information and then figuring out a game plan for how can we get the work done.” 

As a small business owner, Barr says she is focused on creating an environment that is business friendly. 

Barr said she and her three siblings were raised by a single mother on a waitress’ salary. “She really instilled in me the importance of getting an education, so I’m really a supporter of education, and, I think, particularly in educating our kids so they come out workforce ready.” 

Even though Barr has not previously served in public office, she thinks that is an advantage because she would approach state politics “with fresh eyes.” Barr said just like in the corporate world, it’s good to “bring new blood into the mix” to change things up.

“I’m really excited about putting my name into the ring and I’m just really excited to be learning about the process. I hope that excitement carries me all the way to a win,” Barr said.

District 52B includes Inver Grove Heights, Sunfish Lake, Mendota Heights and a portion of Eagan.


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