Undated (KROC AM News) - Congressman Tim Walz has decided to officially run for governor and not for another term representing southeast and south central Minnesota.

The Democrat from Mankato was first elected to the seat in 2006 when he defeated Republican incumbent Gil Gutknecht for the First District seat.

Walz has worked as a teacher at Mankato West high school and was in the Army National Guard from 1981 - 2005, when he retired at the rank of Command Sergeant Major. He had the distinction of becoming the highest-ranking enlisted soldier to serve in Congress.

He was barely elected to a new term last year when he won by about 2500 votes.

Several other Democratic politicians have also announced plans to run for governor in the 2018 election. Gov. Dayton has indicated he will not seek a third term.

The National Republican Congressional Committee issued this statement after Walz made his announcement:

“Tim Walz clearly realizes that it would be easier to run for Governor than to defend the failed liberal policies of Nancy Pelosi. We fully expect this seat to be a top pickup opportunity for Republicans in 2018. Not only did Walz barely scrape by in November, Trump won the District by 15 points.”

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