On the local level he was a member of Harstad municipal council from 1967 to 1971. From 1971 to 1975 he was a member of Troms county council. He chaired the county party chapter from 1970 to 1973, and was a member of the national party board from 1970 to 1973 and 1985 to 1999.
Outside of politics he started his career as a manual laborer in Ballangen (1945-1950), Snåsa (1951), Ørsta (1951-1952) and Volda (1952-1953). In 1969 he settled in Harstad to become a school teacher.