Raleigh, Donald

Meet the Candidate

Running For:
MN House of Representatives
Political Affiliation:
(651) 775-1687
President, Evolve Systems
B.A. Emergency & Disaster Management, American Military University
Biographical Info:
Born in Saint Paul, Minnesota to a farming family. My father was a dairy farmer and truck driver and my mother raises seven children and was a homemaker. I joined the Army at 17 with my parent’s permission so that I could afford to pay for college. I graduated with a BA in Emergency & Disaster Management in 2016. I have been a small business owner for the past 20 years. Currently in my first term as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. Education American Military University, West Virginia BA Emergency and Disaster Management Certified ICS 300, 400 and graduated Suma Cum Laude with a 4.0 GPA In 2016 I graduated at the age of 51. It was a life-long goal of mine to one day finish college. I started taking classes when I was in the Army, but then life, work, marriage, and children were more important to me. As time went on I really wanted to finish what I started. It took me almost 33 years to do it, but I graduated. And I paid for it one class at a time. It took some long nights and weekends, but I did it. Walking across that stage was one of the proudest days of my life. National Command Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama In-Resident Commander’s Course I am a volunteer in the United States Air Force Auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Going to Maxwell and studying with some of the brightest minds in CAP was a real highlight of my life. The school taught me about leadership and command at the national level working with Colonels and Lieutenant Colonels from all over the country. Their insight has been an inspiration to me. Osceola High School, Wisconsin I started Osceola Elementary School and graduated from Osceola High School in 1984. I have life long friends that were in kindergarten with me all the way to graduation day. My best friend Larry Rogers and I even joined the Army together and jointly went to Basic Training at Fort Benning, Georgia. We graduated as Infantrymen, 11B. Work Experience Evolve Systems, President Founded in 2003 A successful small business owner with 17+ years experience running a multi-million-dollar digital marketing agency in Saint Paul that I founded along with my wife, Marnie Ochs-Raleigh. We have served hundreds of customers across the United States with many of them being right here in Minnesota. I approach running my business with a no-nonsense approach to working with companies that serve our communities. We have worked with companies that range from small, local chiropractors to large national companies. Our focus has always been to be servant leaders and to keep our clients’ best interests in mind. Many of our partners have become our friends. That is the way business is supposed to be. Control Data, Senior Consultant As a Minnesota icon, Control Data gave me the opportunity to work nation-wide with some of the most innovative companies in the world. That experience was invaluable when it came time to start my own company. It offered me the opportunity to be on the ground floor of innovation during the inception of the Internet as a business platform. United State Army – Nearly 8 years Active Duty Served as an escort to President Reagan and as a non-Commissioned Military Intelligence Officer stationed on the former East German border as a Linguist (Russian) Interrogator. As a member of America’s Regiment, the Third United States Infantry (The Old Guard) I was assigned first to Charlie Company and then earned a posting with Echo (Honor Guard) Company as a Sentinel at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. While I did not earn my tomb badge, I am still humbled to this day by the experience of honoring those that paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our great nation. While with Honor Guard Company I performed internments at Arlington National Cemetery where I had the sacred duty of laying to rest hundreds of my brothers and sisters who faithfully served in the United States Army. My family met my wife, Marnie, while I was home on leave from Germany. She was the guest book attendant at my sister Cathie’s wedding. My parents and her parents were friends, but due to my military service and postings overseas, I had never met her before. I took one look at her and instantly fell in love. I asked her her name, and then quickly ducked downstairs in search of my mom. I had to tell her that I had met the girl I was going to marry. I found her in the dressing room with my sister who was getting ready for her big day. I interrupted the party just to tell my mom about this girl. I told my mother about her and her reaction was, “But she’s such a nice girl!” I asked Marnie to go out with me that night, but our schedules did not work out until the next weekend. I met her on a Friday night. We went out for a burger at Fudruckers and then I brought her back to her house. We walked into the house and sat down on the couch and it was then and there that I asked her to marry me. We had been together for just a couple of hours. She said yes. I had to leave for Germany 2 days later, but during that time we laughed and talked about what our future would be like. It was an amazing time. Once I was back at my station on the East German Border we wrote to each other every day. I saved up enough money to buy her a plane ticket to come and see me and when she arrived three months later I whisked her away to Denmark where we eloped. After a brief honeymoon in the Austrian Alps, she returned to Minnesota and I started the paperwork to bring her back to live with me. Then the Gulf War erupted, I was deployed in support of our actions overseas, and I did not see my new bride for almost a year. It was a very difficult year. We have now been married for almost 31 years and we have four children. All of them graduated from Centennial High School. Shaine works in the medical device industry. Donny works for Evolve Systems Zophia works at Cargill Izabella works at General Mills. I could not be more proud of my family and all that they represent to me. It is because of their faith and support that I ran to be a State Representative in Blaine, and with their support I am seeking re-election.
I believe in the United States. Our founders envisioned a country that was not ruled by a King, but governed by the people. I believe that our legislators should be citizen servants. We should experience life, raise our children, pay our taxes, and then take that life experience and spend a few, limited years in service to our communities as representatives. I have lived this belief since I was a young man. I served my country in uniform with the Army for almost 8 years. I served my family by being committed to my wife for over 32 years, raising our children and being a great father. I served my community by volunteering for decades with various organizations like Rotary, Civil Air Patrol, Park Commission, and at my church. I believe life is more that accumulation, it is about dedication to God, to Family, and to Community.


Response Legend

  • YYes
  • NNo
  • ?Declined to Respond/Undecided, Position Unknown/Unclear
  • *Comment
  • Position based upon candidate record or extensive research

Question Response Comments/Notes
1. Should abortions be banned after fetal heartbeat is detected (around 6 weeks gestation)? Y
2. Do you oppose all taxpayer funding of abortion? Y
3. Do you oppose physician assisted suicide, also referred to as aid in dying? Y
4. Do you oppose public school policies that promote transgender ideology, such as comprehensive sex education? Y
5. Do you support legislation that preserves girls’ and women’s athletics for biological females? Y
6. Do you support school choice legislation, such as tuition tax credits, that would enable parents to choose the school that best suits their child’s needs? Y
7. Should people have their religious freedom protected if they refuse to participate in a same-sex wedding? Y
8. Do you oppose efforts to ban voluntary biblical counseling in the areas of gender and sexuality? Y
9. Do you support a parent’s fundamental right to direct the upbringing of their children, including their education and health care? Y