Tony grew up with 4 sisters and 4 brothers on a small farm north and east of Vernon Center, Minnesota. He attended the Vernon Center Elementary School where he went through the 8th grade. He then went on to graduate from the Garden City High School in 1969. Tony farmed his folk's home place raising hogs and cash crops for 4 years and then went into his first law enforcement job, an Amboy Policeman in 1975. From there he went to the Blue Earth County Sheriff's Department for 3 years working as a Deputy Sheriff. In July 0f 1980 he became a Game Warden with the DNR staying in that position for 22 years, almost all of them served up north in the wilderness near the Canadian border. While in that capacity, he got into politics running for his first term and winning as State Representative in 2002. Now Tony is in his 4th term.
Tony also served 13 years in the Army National Guard graduating as an Army Officer from the Minnesota Military Academy, promoted to the rank of Captain and then becoming a Company Commander of a Tank Company. He served in 8 military bases in the United States and also a tour in Korea as a War Games Controller.
He enjoys all kind of fishing and hunting, especially muzzle loaders and archery. His was married and had 3 children and is now divorced. One of his sons is a State Trooper, another a cross country over the road truck driver and his daughter sells ad campaigns for Hubbard Broadcasting in Minneapolis. He has 10 grandchildren.